Learn about Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT)

 M2M forms the basis for a concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT). So far, the Internet of Things has been most closely associated with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in manufacturing, utilities, and smart machines. Products built with M2M communication capabilities are often referred to as being smart.So, let’s start first for Machine to machine (M2M), which is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.

M2M communication is often used for remote monitoring. In product restocking, for example, a vending machine can message the distributor when a particular item is running low, also a smart cabinet RFID enabled avoids theft and monitors hospital-critical supplies. M2M communication is an important aspect of warehouse management, remote control, robotics, traffic control, logistic services, supply chain management, fleet management and telemedicine.

M2M definition from Numerex is very illustrative:

“M2M uses a device (sensor, meter, etc.) to capture an ‘event’ (temperature, inventory level, etc.), which is relayed through a network (wireless, wired or hybrid) to an application (software program), that translates the captured event into meaningful information (e.g., items need to be restocked ).”

Typical M2M solution characteristics are:
  • Low energy,
  • Low cost,
  • Low processing power
  • Infrequent and small data transmissions
  • Enormous number of nodes
  • Two way communication
  • Low latency and Reliable transmission ( QoS )
  • No mobility or limited mobility
  • No human intervention
  • Consolidated information in the cloud, central visibility and big data analysis and predictions.

Data from connected products, devices and sensors can power new innovative applications, enhance business processes, enrich customer processes, and provide dramatic insights into the physical world

For manufacturers, intelligence acquired from connected products will drive huge business and product innovation because a manufacturer can know the usage of his machine, anticipate maintenance issues, sell consumables, enable new business, etc.
Today’s market leaders understand that the value of connecting remote assets and devices is multidimensional – and that, in fact, the cost-savings component in many cases can be secondary to other returns, such as increased customer satisfaction, brand differentiation, and the collection of accurate data, all of which can drive increased revenues

The Internet of Things  is, according to Wikipedia, the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

The term “Internet of Things” was first documented by a British visionary, Kevin Ashton, in 1999. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M).

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters,automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices.  Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.

There are three core sectors of the IoT: Enterprise, Home, and Public Sector, with the Enterprise Internet of Things (EIoT) being the largest of the three. By 2019, the EIoT sector is estimated to account for nearly 40% or 9.1 billion devices.

As a good visual overview of Enterprise IoT, made by CISCO and applied to buildings:

M2M infrastructure Security IoT

Enterprise Internet of Things according to CISCO is the network of physical objects accessed through internet technology within an enterprise network. Examples might be enterprise networks that span office buildings, retail stores, classrooms, restaurants and hotels, among many others. Your company is full of devices that can be connected into your  network to allow you to provide more control and save money.

 

Dr. John Barrett explains the Internet of Things in his TED talk:

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