When you use an ATM, do you marvel at the idea that your PIN unlocks the bank’s proverbial tumblers to dispense your money? Have you ever considered how remarkable the technology is that allows a sensor in a vending machine to communicate inventory needs to the warehouse? This kind of technology has existed for years, helping professionals and technicians by remotely managing and controlling data from equipment. Imagine the time and energy saved when, instead of sending the team into the field to collect data, it is simply fed into the network, ready to be examined and employed.
What Is M2M Technology?
M2M, or Machine to Machine, is a type of technology that is utilized for automated data transmission. It is any technology that facilitates networked devices to communicate and do things without human involvement. M2M can be found in many different fields, including banking, healthcare and law enforcement. The Internet of Things (IoT), in which physical objects connect and exchange data over the internet, couldn’t exist without M2M technology.
How Does M2M Work?
M2M technology employs autonomic computing technology, in which computers possess self-managing characteristics. It contains elements that allow it to adapt to unpredictable changes and constantly self-monitors itself for optimal performance.
M2M generally uses public networks and access methods, like Ethernet or cellular. The autonomic computing software, sensors and Wifi or cellular communications link work seamlessly to collect, evaluate and transmit data to the network, at which point is becomes accessible remotely.
What Are the Benefits of M2M Technology?
As mentioned, a top benefit of M2M technology is its inherently remote, hands-off nature. Aside from the ability to remotely monitor equipment, M2M improves customer service because of its proactive self-monitoring, which necessarily cuts down on costly delays due to unexpected issues. Consider a piece of machinery that has a broken or malfunctioning element. If the machine is outfitted with M2M technology, a sensor identifies and reports the issue immediately, possibly even before complete failure. In another scenario, the element fails and deteriorates other parts of the system, causing more damage and delay.
What Are Examples of M2M Currently in Practice?
There are loads of examples of M2M in practice. Because uses for the technology are so transferable, it has been employed in scores of scenarios. Smart homes, for instance, provide a good look into how M2M works and why it is so valuable.
Smart homes feature appliances equipped with M2M technology that enable them to have real-time control of operations and communicate with the central network. With your cell phone, for instance, you can unlock the front door and turn the lights on as you are pulling into the driveway. You can start the dishwasher from bed or set the sprinklers to go off a couple of extra times on a hot day. That homeowners can have so much control over their home-based technologies speaks to the power of M2M.
It is also used in In-car telemetry services. Through M2M technology, data gathered about the car’s operating systems can be used to advise owners about maintenance needs. In this scenario, when a sensor on the car identifies a failing component, it communicates with the manufacturer, who can then reach out to the owner, who can book a service appointment and save time and money by not calling for a tow truck from the side of the road. Manufacturers can also utilize data to produce better vehicles.
Smart meters employ M2M and are able to track energy consumption in real-time. It allows the energy provider to pinpoint exactly the amount of energy that a given customer is using. This means that the customer knows exactly what it costs for energy consumption and can identify and question fluctuations.
Machine to machine technology is such an important concept, not only because it streamlines loads of data processing needs the world over, but because it showed people that such improvements to existing scenarios are possible. Today, machines are able to talk to each other and have a degree of autonomy; tomorrow, who knows? Truly, M2M is a revolutionary advancement.