Machine to machine (M2M) technology is increasingly being used in communications, automotive and utility segments. It uses a device that can capture an event such as temperature, power consumption, location and more with the help of communications technologies.
The information captured by the sensor is relayed through a network to a software application that translates the captured event into meaningful information. Some of the predominant technologies used in M2M solutions are 2G, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Power Line, and ZigBee.
According to a recent report, the market for communication modules holds the highest share as of 2011 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.4 percent from 2012 to 2017. North America accounts for the largest share in M2M accounting for 32.1 percent, followed by Europe with 29.6 percent.
Among the different application sectors where M2M technology is utilized, the consumer electronics sector is observed to hold the highest share of 30.9 percent in 2011, the report said.
The key factors driving the M2M adoption include a growing range of successful applications, regulatory mandates, penetration of 3G technology and the launch of 4G technology. The market is also facing machine to machine challenges mainly due to lack of awareness about the technological advancements. Cost of installation and maintenance is also hindering the growth of M2M.
The research predicts that M2M costs will eventually come down. Efforts created by governments and industry stakeholders are boosting the awareness levels.
The report reveals that 2G technology held the highest share of the M2M market as of 2011. However, ZigBee technology demonstrates the highest growth rate – at a CAGR of 33.8 percent from 2012 to 2017. This is mainly due to the benefits of the technology such as low power consumption, low cost and fast connection time for end devices.
IDC (News - Alert) analyst Carrie MacGillivray recently spoke at a roundtable on machine to machine solutions sponsored by ZDNet and Tech Republic, and there she projected 50 billion connected devices by 2020 could be “aspirational” and contends it will be a lot less. "M2M is just at the starting gate," she said.
There will be a lot of growth over the next decade, but so-called ecosystems of vendors, partners and standards need to be built, according to MacGillivray.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey