Machine to Machine (M2M) technology has been around for a while now, however its popularity and usage is set to soar this year and is likely to be the buzzword for 2013.
“M2M is the area of the IT industry focused on the communication of data between remotely located devices. It allows users to deploy small, lower power, remote monitoring and control systems where previous technology would have been too bulky, expensive or ineffective,” explained Brett Raven, Solentive Software’s Principal Business Solutions Consultant.
Examples of M2M usage:
- Logistics – GPS vehicle and package tracking
- Food production – refrigeration temperature and humidity monitoring, contamination detection
- Smart meter/smart grid – energy meters that feed usage data back to providers and consumers
- Health – remote blood pressure, and activity/fitness monitoring
- Vending machines – temperature control, stock level monitoring, and theft warning
M2M may also be referred to as Telemetry, Telematics or Remote Communications. “Generally, these communications are handled in an automated fashion and transmitted via mobile data networks such as 4G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth just to name a few,” continued Raven.
Just like the cloud, M2M is not a new concept; it has been utilised mainly in the manufacturing industry and other automated industries for years. However, the number of applications utilising this technology has been growing exponentially.
This increase is attributed to the abundance of supporting technologies that now exist and the decreasing costs of hardware, software and other data services.
“I believe that we will soon see many home-use devices such as the TV, refrigerator or lighting being shipped with network communication capabilities. This will soon become a part of our everyday life,” predicted Raven.
“Organisations constantly look for new ways to engage with their customers, suppliers and staff in deeper and more meaningful ways. By using the M2M technology available today, a more communicative and consistent customer experience can be achieved,” commented Raven.
This level of engagement is already being experienced by consumers. For example, a customer who makes a product purchase online is able to track where their package is from leaving the mail processing facility to being on-board with the driver. Similarly, someone who orders pizza is able to track how their order is progressing from being prepared to cooking in the oven. The technology already exists and the potential for its usage in your industry is bound to be endless with some imagination and creativity.