IBM and Vodafone (News - Alert) recently announced that they have collaborated in effort to create a remote management solution for 'smart home' appliances. This solution leverages mobile communications and cloud computing for true mobility.
The two companies demonstrated the solution at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, managing a washing machine and other smart home devices remotely. These smart devices were connected by Vodafone's Global Machine to Machine (M2M) Platform running on IBM's (News - Alert) new SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform.
M2M-connected devices are capable of connecting wirelessly to the Internet, which is typically used to feed data back to a service provider or manufacturer in order to achieve a better customer experience. For example, many smart home devices will alert the manufacturer in the event of a malfunction. IBM and Vodafone have taken this technology to another level, however, putting the power in the customers' hands.
"The smart home market is now a reality and Vodafone is committed to delivering to it," said Marc Tastayre, Vodafone M2M global business development manager. "Security is the first important step for connecting devices to the internet and the collaboration between IBM and Vodafone is putting in place an open, efficient and scalable solution for the consumer electronics industry that will enable it to successfully progress the creation of the 'Internet of Things.'"
This new M2M initiative has a lot of potential and could allow consumers to use their smartphones to remotely perform a number of functions including viewing their home's utility consumption, controlling security, heating and lighting systems, and activating appliances. This initiative is also beneficial to manufacturers as it can collect usage data to inform future product development.
IBM's SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform, meanwhile, also plays a large role, providing a fully integrated, scalable cloud platform. This allows the initiative to be more scalable and cost effective.
Recently, Vodafone has been receiving a lot of negative press with allegations of dishonest advertising and service gaps in both Australia and Ghana. IBM, meanwhile, has been doing exceptionally well in challenging economic circumstances, posting impressive figures for the second quarter of the year.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey