IBM's Watson has been at the forefront of the consumer electronics age, yet it hasn't been as involved as other technologies like Alexa is today. That's all about to change.

Watson won't just help cure cancer and win at Jeopardy; Watson will now partner with appliance makers to make the smart home become reality.

At Berlin's consumer electronics show, IFA, the global head of Watson IoT said IBM will partner with Wirlpool, Panasonic, and Nokia to add Watson's cognitive computing to their products, and in essence create a world where all these products can talk to one another.

For example, a washing machine could tell a dryer what program to use for the clothes it has just washed, or tell its owner when to order more detergent. Computer vision techniques could help security cameras distinguish between friends and strangers or identify suspicious activity. And natural language processing and text-to-speech capabilities could let wireless headphones translate for us or read us instruction manuals when our hands are full.

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