Wednesday, April 26, 2017




Machine to Machine (`M2M' for short) communications, in which data is transferred among communicating machines with little or no human intervention. It refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of same ability. It has been emerged around for some time before. The industry has come into prominence because of widespread availability of wireless networks.

M2M uses a device, such as a sensor or meter, to capture an event such as 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. This is accomplished through the use of telemetry, the language machines use when in communication with each other. Such communication was originally accomplished by having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which would then be rerouted into a system like a personal computer.

The origin of M2M communications is cloudy because of the many different possibilities of its inception. It began around the year 2000, possibly earlier, when cellular technology first began to learn to connect directly to other computer systems. In 2009 the technology witnessed its development in U.S. and in Europe. In early 2010 in the U.S., some telecom companies began to work together in the creation of a M2M site, which will serve as a hub for developers in the field of M2M communication electronics. In March 2010, Sprint and Axeda Corporation announced their strategic alliance for global M2M solutions. In January 2011, Aeris Communications Inc. announced that it is providing M2M telematics services for Hyundai Motor Corporation. Partnerships like these make it easier, faster and more cost-efficient for businesses to use M2M. In June 2010, mobile messaging operator tyntec announced the availability of its high-reliability SMS services for M2M applications.

However, modern M2M communication has expanded beyond a one-to-one connection and changed into a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. The expansion of wireless networks across the world has made it far easier for M2M communication to take place and has lessened the amount of power and time necessary for information to be communicated between machines. These networks also allow an array of new business opportunities and connections between consumers and producers in terms of the products being sold.

Personal health monitoring, tracking and tracing in supply chain management, fleet management and tracking, remote security sensing, smart electricity and gas meters, smart grids, intelligent traffic control, all involve M2M. M2M is strengthened by availability of mobile networks. Mobile operators are showing interests in M2M to improve their revenues and profit margins.

M2M applications have four components which are as follows:

1) Collection of data

2) Transmission of selected data through a communication network

3) Assessment of the data

4) Response to the available information.

Machines are new subscribers of the cellular networks. It is estimated that the world would have 50 billion connected machines in the year 2020. This would far exceed the connected humans even if the entire world predicted population 7.5 billion by the year 2020 are to be connected. M2M networks need to be reliable, scalable, secure and manageable. The possibility of number of devices connected increasing exponentially requires optimizations to avoid network congestion and system overload. The network would need to support many types of M2M devices having different characteristics and requirement for running different applications. It has to be ensured that the M2M services and devices at a low cost level for mass market acceptance. These challenges can be resolved by standardization. Various bodies are current engaging in this work.

M2M has various applications. Some of the applications are as follows:

City Automation:

Sensors, pumps, valves, meters;
Power, light, elevator control;
Grid control;
Waste management;
Billing of utilities.
Sales & Payment:

Point of sales;
Vending machines;
Loyalty concepts;
Gaming and entertainment.

Smart meters;
Alarms and security;
Surveillance cameras;
Heating, gas, water;
Garbage and garden.
Security & Surveillance:

Access control;
Alarm system;
Public surveillance;
Congestion and movement monitoring;
Urban management.

Patient monitoring;
Remote diagnostics;
Activity monitoring;
Web access telemedicine;
Personal security.
Tracking & Tracing:

Fleet management;
Order management;
Vehicle diagnostic;
Traffic/weather information;
Location service;
Emission control;
Toll collections.
The above are only examples. There are many applications in it. Machine-to-machine communication appears to have a bright future. It's a flexible technology that uses common equipment in new ways. Every day, businesses, engineers, scientists, doctors and many others are finding new ways to use this new communications tool.

Dated: - December 16, 2011

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