Ready for a revolution? You’re already in the middle of a quiet one.
First there was the Internet revolution for people. Now we’re in the midst of the machine-to-machine (M2M) Internet revolution, which will see devices and not just people communicating and collaborating over the Internet.
“It used to just be face to face, person to person,” Matt Carter, president of Sprint's Enterprise Solutions Group, recently told TMC (News - Alert). Now, “we’re seeing everyday things…car, smart appliances, wearable (diagnose health, location, etc) all part of world of keeping people, places and things connected.”
Transportation is one area where we’ll see M2M early. Known as telematics, it includes cars that send data back to manufacturers, concerned mothers who are able to monitor their new drivers, and insurance agents who want to give discounts for good driving but need proof.
An early leader that is helping car companies with M2M is Sprint (News - Alert); through its Sprint Velocity brand, the company has helped the likes of automakers such as Chrysler, Hyundai and Acura deliver automotive connectivity.
“Part of Sprint Velocity is providing a platform that helps improve driving and the passenger experience,” Carter told TMC. “If you are in the car and looking for a particular restaurant, for instance, we can push that info to you.”
Automobiles aren’t the only machines that Sprint and others are helping connect to the Internet, however.
One of the biggest uses for M2M is sensor data from devices in the field, for instance; with M2M, companies can put sensors in the field that not only feed critical operations data back to company servers, but also interact with each other for whole new levels of flexible configuration.
Fleet data is another area where M2M makes strong business sense; it is much easier to manage trucks, for instance, when they are reporting their location and details such as mileage and fuel use.
Then there is the consumer side. Apple (News - Alert) is about to launch a major push into consumer-focused wearable tech that ties back to mobile devices and ultimately the Internet. While the company might be an early adopter, expect manufacturers of all types to start including M2M technology into their devices soon. This can range from reporting device health to more dramatic uses such as lights that automatically come on when the homeowner is about to arrive home.
The next Internet revolution has begun.
Edited by Alisen Downey