Smart Cities software developer Contact Light has signed a collaboration agreement with global technology company IBM. Contact Light is the technology subsidiary of digital transit media company XTD Ltd (ASX: XTD).

Under the agreement, IBM and Contact Light will collaborate to create and market solutions which combine IBM Cloud and various Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings together with Contact Light’s Smart Cities digital solutions.

Contact Light develops digital solutions to address unique opportunities for governments, city planners and large enterprise organisations to better understand how people interact with their evolving urban environments. The new collaboration will include the deployment of Contact Light’s world-first technology that allows interaction between digital out-of-home screens and people’s mobile devices. Contact Light’s 100%-owned consumer-focused digital solutions include:

  • Nearcast – Frictionless, consumer-driven, screen-to-mobile engagement, connecting brands and people to provide valuable data insights.
  • Embark – A mobile application (“app”) that connects commuters with real-time public transport information including multi-modal wayfinding in more than 1,200 cities worldwide.

Contact Light CEO Mike Boyd said the agreement would help Contact Light accelerate and improve the commercialisation of valuable insights from high-volume commuter movement data that has been collected via Embark over the past two years and is growing on a daily basis.

“IBM is committed to creating smarter cities” Boyd said. “For example, earlier this month IBM and Apple announced a major partnership focusing on machine learning via the IBM Watson platform, which will provide continuous learning capabilities for apps such as Embark.”

Anthone Withers, IBM’s Head of SaaS, A/NZ, said “Our agreement with Contact Light is an example of how IBM is restructuring its partner engagement model and focusing on solutions which provide artificial intelligence, cloud, blockchain and security delivered as a Service.”

“I see great opportunity in the ability to measure, communicate and commercially transact with people using transit environments via their mobile devices. The benefits are twofold: convenience for the technology users and the rich data it creates for business decisions.”

Contact Light’s agreement with IBM follows the announcement by XTD earlier this month that it proposed to acquire the 63% of Contact Light currently owned by third party shareholders. The acquisition aims to dramatically strengthen XTD’s market positioning by adding Contact Light’s world-first suite of technologies and Smart Cities innovation to the Company’s market-leading cross track digital media systems for transit environments. In Australia the XTD wholly-owned systems operate in the Melbourne and Brisbane metro rail systems.

The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval, which will be sought at a general meeting in late May. Refer to the Company’s release of 8 March 2018 for further information.

The Board of XTD looks forward to updating shareholders with respect to the Acquisition and Contact Light’s commercialisation activities.