What is M2M and IoT?

There is no confirmed unified definition each developer, vendor or CSP have own definition of it.

Machine to Machine by Telit

Machine to machine communication (m2m) is the term that identifies the space enveloping the collection of devices, services and the value chain required to allow the interconnection of electronic apparatus, typically but not always wirelessly. Another characteristic of m2m communications is that this interconnection enables primarily automated communication between distant, remote machines and one or more layers of central management applications. It provides for real-time monitoring and control without the need for human intervention.

In the wireless m2m space, there are two major classes of interconnections: short range and wide area. The predominant wide area technology applies embedded cellular modules to connect remote devices to the internet or application servers. Think of embedded cellular modules as cell phones for machines or cell phones without the display and keyboard. A cellular module includes many of the same features that you would find in a cellular handset, including voice and data communication, and is ideal for embedded applications.

As with cellular phones, cellular modules require a subscription service. But beyond that, modules require a great deal of other services all of which add value to the ability to have and connect remotely to the end device. For example, services providing real-time information on where devices are, their network coverage, and diagnostics. Or ways to quickly troubleshoot most common issues. Services allowing you to set alerts and limits to contain overages and eliminate unwelcome surprises for total cost control.

Short range is not too dissimilar from wide area. It applies embedded short range wireless modules in a wide range of protocols and frequencies according to application type and regional spectrum regulatory constraints. These modules operate in the license-free ISM frequency, typically in the bands of 169, 433, 868, 915 MHz, and 2.4 GHz. They are available in standard air-interface protocols such as wireless M-Bus and ZigBee as well as other proprietary technologies.

Cellular and short range modules connect with an application using AT commands or RIL drivers, typically through a UART or USB connection.

Machine to Machine (M2M) by Vodafone

Vodafone Machine-to-Machine connects machines, devices and appliances wirelessly to the internet, turning them into intelligent assets that open up a range of possibilities for how businesses are run, how they grow and keep customers happy.

At a glance

Put simply, M2M communications are made possible by a device (such as a sensor) that is attached to a machine to capture an event that is relayed over a network delivering data to applications. The intelligent sensors are embedded in a remote asset and capture events such as temperature, location, consumption, heart rate, stress levels, light, movement, altitude and speed. These sensors include a SIM card that is able to receive and transmit the event data wirelessly to a central server where an Application translates this data into meaningful information that can be analysed and acted upon e.g the temperature is too hot, turn temperature down.

 

M2M by WhatIs.com

Machine to machine (M2M) is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.

M2M communication is often used for remote monitoring. In product restocking, for example, a vending machine can message the distributor when a particular item is running low. M2M communication is an important aspect of warehouse management, remote control, robotics, traffic control, logistic services, supply chain management, fleet management and telemedicine.  It forms the basis for a concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Key components of an M2M system include sensorsRFID, a Wi-Fi or cellular communications link and autonomic computing software programmed to help a networked device interpret data and make decisions. The most well-known type of M2M communication is telemetry, which has been used since the early part of the last century to transmit operational data. Pioneers in telemetrics first used telephone lines — and later, on radio waves — to transmit performance measurements gathered from monitoring instruments in remote locations. The Internet and improved standards for wireless technology have expanded the role of telemetry from pure science, engineering and manufacturing to everyday use in products like home heating units, electric meters and Internet-connected appliances. Products built with M2M communication capabilities are often marketed to end users as being “smart.”

Currently, M2M does not have a standardized connected device platform and many M2M systems are built to be task- or device-specific. It is expected that as M2M becomes more pervasive, vendors will need to agree upon standards for device-to-device communications.

M2M by Forbes

M2M…what the heck?

Yes, M2M (a.k.a Internet of Things) is now one of the fastest growing segments in technology. M2M solutions can connect millions of devices via a network, like vending machines, heart monitors, trucks, appliances and buildings — nearly anything with sensors or software agents that can report device-specific information back to other devices or applications.

Conceptually an M2M network is simple. It uses a sensor or other type of device to monitor activity or a status change, such as inventory levels or even an increase in radiation. The captured data is sent via an IP network (e.g. LAN, WAN, hybrid) to another device or application, which in turn can analyze the event and take further action.

That means that M2M solutions can actually kick off tasks and execute complex instructions without human intervention, based on the data gathered. While this might conjure up visions of super computers running amok in a bad Sci-Fi movie, with a little thought, you’ll see that M2M will be a game-changer for individuals and businesses alike.

From connected homes to connected hearts

Imagine having the groceries you need waiting at your house, automatically reordered by your refrigerator when its internal inventory control system notifies your local supermarket you are low on milk and eggs. Or, more significantly, a sensor on a heart patient that can recognize and alert his doctor and hospital of an imminent heart attack. This type of life-saving service is available today — and the possibilities are endless.

Many companies are utilizing M2M technologies to improve quality of service, strengthen customer relationships and even increase profitability. At this year’s Google I/O, for example, Google experimented with M2M by deploying over 4,000 environmental sensors at the San Francisco Moscone Center that monitored temperature, pressure, light, air quality, motion and noise level throughout the conference.

Productivity gains and cost efficiencies have been early drivers in adoption. Heavy service-based industries that have traditionally relied on field personnel to make customer visits for troubleshooting equipment problems stand to gain tremendously from M2M deployments. Many of these companies are seeing dramatic reductions in service costs because what was once done on-site, can now be done remotely. As a result, those requisite on-site visits actually become more efficient thanks to M2M technology, since technicians can often diagnose the problem before they even arrive.

M2M by T-Mobile

A part of modern ICT landscapes

M2M stands for Machine-to-Machine Communication and describes the automatic exchange of information between machines and devices. M2M is closely related to concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT),Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), Industry 4.0, and Smart Cities. They all map out scenarios in which the things around us – from machines in manufacturing to everyday objects – exchange and evaluate data automatically and create added value for private life and work. Since large amounts of data need to be stored and interpreted in the process, Machine-to-Machine communication goes hand in hand with developments like Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics.

Computerized and connected physical objects
M2M solutions typically share the following design principles: Sensors and IT components that are integrated in or attached to objects gather data like operating conditions, GPS coordinates, power consumption and light intensity (1). Captured data is relayed to a server via mobile or fixed-line networks (2). There, the data is stored and evaluated (3). If the sensor and machine data meets certain preassigned criteria, further actions are set in motion – alerting the solution’s operator via SMS for example (4).

A promising prospect for our business and private lives
Machine-to-machine communication ranks among the core technologies that are about to solve pressing problems of our information society. When machines and things talk to each other and handle both business-related and mundane tasks automatically, they increase our economic efficiency, ensure the quality of life of aging populations, and lead to environmental sustainability.

 

Machine-to-Machine by Wikipedia

Machine to Machine (M2M) refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type. M2M is a broad term as it does not pinpoint specific wireless or wired networking, information and communications technology. This broad term is particularly used by business executives. M2M is considered an integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings several benefits to industry and business  in general as it has a wide range of applications such as industrial automation, logistics, Smart Grid, Smart Cities, health, defence etc. mostly for monitoring but also for control purposes.

In order to support the rapid new development and the worldwide adoption of the Internet of Things as well as the continued growth of M2M technology and its large scale applications in the future, a global adoption and deployment of the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) are required because all of the sensors and machine-readable identifiers needed to make the Internet of Things a reality will have to use IPv6 to accommodate the extremely large address space required. Even if the current supply of IPv4 addresses were not to be exhausted soon, the size of IPv4 itself is not large enough to support the future requirement of IoT.

Consequently, to a large extent, the future success of M2M, as an integral part of the IoT, will ultimately be determined by the successful global adoption of IPv6 in the coming years.

M2M can include the case of industrial instrumentation – comprising a device (such as a sensor or meter) to capture an event (such as temperature, inventory level, etc.) that is relayed through a network (wireless, wired or hybrid) to an application (software program) that translates the captured event into meaningful information (for example, items need to be restocked).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.

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 IP 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.

M2M was originally used for automation and instrumentation but now has been also used to refer to telematics applications.

History

M2M has existed in different forms since the advent of computer networking automation and predates cellular communication. It has been utilized in applications such as telemetryindustrialautomationSCADA.

While cellular is becoming more common, sizable numbers of machines still use land lines (POTS, DSL, cable) to connect to the IP network. The cellular M2M communications industry emerged in 1995 when Siemens set up a dedicated department inside its mobile phones business unit to develop and launch a GSM data module called “M1”based on the Siemens mobile phone S6 for M2M industrial applications, enabling machines to communicate over wireless networks. In October 2000, the modules department formed a separate business unit inside Siemens called “Wireless Modules” which in June 2008 became a standalone company called Cinterion Wireless Modules. The first M1 module was used for early point of sale (POS) terminals, in vehicle telematics, remote monitoring and tracking and tracing applications. M2M technology was first embraced by early implementers such as GM and Hughes Electronics Corporation who realized the benefits and future potential of the technology. By 1997, M2M wireless technology became more prevalent and sophisticated as ruggedized modules were developed and launched for the specific needs of different vertical markets such as automotive telematics. Today, M2M data modules are extremely sophisticated and come with an array of features and capabilities such as onboard global positioning (GPS) technology, flexible land grid array surface mounting, embedded M2M optimized smart cards (like phone SIMs) known as MIMs or M2M identification modules, and embedded Java, an important enabling technology to accelerate theInternet of Things (IOT). Another example of an early use is OnStar‘s system of communication.

The hardware components of a machine to machine network are manufactured by a few key players. In 1998, Quake Global started designing and manufacturing M2M satellite and terrestrial modems. Initially relying heavily on ORBCOMM network for its satellite communication services, Quake Global expanded its telecommunication product offerings by engaging both satellite and terrestrial networks, which gave Quake Global an edge in offering network agnostic products.

In 2004, Digi International began producing wireless gateways and routers. Shortly after in 2006, Digi purchased Max Stream, the manufacturer of XBee radios. These hardware components allowed users to connect machines no matter how remote their location. Since then, Digi has partnered with several companies to connect hundreds of thousands of devices around the world.

In 2006, Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp started work with NASA to develop automated machine-to-machine intelligence. Automated M2M intelligence enables a wide variety of mechanisms including wired or wireless tools, sensors, devices, server computers, robots, spacecraft and grid systems to communicate and exchange information efficiently.

In 2009, AT&T and Jasper Technologies, Inc. entered into an agreement to support the creation of M2M devices jointly. They have stated that they will be trying to drive further connectivity between consumer electronics and M2M wireless networks, which would create a boost in speed and overall power of such devices. 2009 also saw the introduction of real-time management of GSM and CDMA network services for M2M applications with the launch of the PRiSMPro™ Platform from M2M network provider KORE Telematics. The platform focused on making multi-network management a critical component for efficiency improvements and cost-savings in M2M device and network usage.Also in 2009, the Norwegian incumbent Telenor concluded ten years of M2M research by setting up two entities serving the upper (services) and lower (connectivity) parts of the value-chain. Telenor Connexion in Sweden draws on Vodafone‘s former research capabilities in subsidy Europolitan and is a market leader in Europe’s market for services across such typical markets as logistics, fleet management, car safety, healthcare, and smart metering of electricity consumption. Telenor Objects has a similar role supplying connectivity to M2M networks across Europe. Telefonica set up a business branch of Telefónica Digital specialized in M2M with global solutions for managed connectivity, transport and utilities and sustainability. In the UK, Business MVNO Abica, commenced trials with Telehealth and Telecare applications which required secure data transit via Private APN and HSPA+connectivity.

In early 2010 in the U.S., AT&TKPNRogersTelcel / America Movil and Jasper Technologies, Inc. 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 February 2010,VodafoneVerizon Wireless and nPhase (a joint partnership of Qualcomm and Verizon) announced their strategic alliance to provide global M2M solutions that would offer their customers an easy way to roll out M2M solutions across Europe and the US. 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.

In March 2011, M2M network service provider KORE Wireless teamed with Vodafone Group and Iridium Communications Inc., respectively, to make KORE Global Connect network services available via cellular and satellite connectivity in more than 180 countries, with a single point for billing, support, logistics and relationship management. Later that year, KORE acquired Australia-based Mach Communications Pty Ltd. in response to increased M2M demand within Asia-Pacific markets.

In April 2011, Ericsson Acquires M2M Platform Telenor Connexion’s machine-to-machine (M2M) platform, in an effort to get more technology and know-how in the growing sector.

In August 2011, Ericsson announced that they have successfully completed the asset purchase agreement to acquire Telenor Connexion’s M2M (machine-to-machine) technology platform.

Cloud connectivity is becoming a significant piece of the M2M Solution as cellular and wireless connection speeds increase. M2M solutions providers now offer Platforms as a Service (PaaS), which simplify machine networks by allowing users to manage deployments remotely. Device Cloud by Etherios is a PaaS that can integrated into the Salesforce platform and offers API’s that can be used to develop a custom application.

According to ABI Research M2M application security will see strong growth over the next five years, with global revenues hitting $198 million by 2018.

According to the independent wireless analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of cellular network connections worldwide used for M2M communication was 47.7 million in 2008. The company forecasts that the number of M2M connections will grow to 187 million by 2014.

A research study from the E-Plus Group shows that in 2010 2.3 million M2M smart cards will be in the German market. According to the study, this figure will rise in 2013 to over 5 million smart cards. The main growth driver is segment “tracking and tracing” with an expected average growth rate of 30 percent. The fastest growing M2M segment in Germany, with an average annual growth of 47 percent, will be the consumer electronics segment.

In April 2013, OASIS MQTT standards group is formed with the goal of working on a lightweight publish/subscribe reliable messaging transport protocol suitable for communication in M2M/IoT contexts. IBM and StormMQ chair this standards group and Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp is the secretary. In May 2014, the committee published the MQTT and NIST Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.0 committee note to provide guidance for organizations wishing to deploy MQTT in a way consistent with the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.

In May 2013, M2M network service providers KORE Telematics, Oracle, Deutsche TelekomDigi InternationalORBCOMM and Telit formed the International M2M Council (IMC). The first trade organization to service the entire M2M ecosystem, the IMC aims at making M2M ubiquitous by helping companies instill and manage the communication between machines.

M2M publishers

M2M Now

At face value, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are simply devices sharing data in a wired or wireless network. For over 20 years they have been mainly one-to-one connections, recording events at remote locations such as changes in stock levels or temperature. That was then, this is now.

Today, many communications service providers (CSPs) are excited by the possibilities of huge growth in traffic serving every business and social sector, from telematics that monitor vehicle performance and update in-car software, to smart meters advising providers of the utilities consumed, to controlling secure site access, to healthcare providers checking remote devices such as dialysis machines or even pacemakers.

M2M networks already support a wide range of applications (47.7 million wireless connections worldwide in 2008, according to Berg Insight, and expected to reach 187 million by 2014). These applications are growing to include: critical health provision, transaction reporting (car parks, train tickets, toll roads, vending machines), and low value, low frequency service updates (such as industrial monitoring). M2M can present widely differing challenges in business models, technologies, implementation and support.

In the first global M2M magazine of its kind,  M2M Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and we pass on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next gen M2M services.

  • How should you plan networks for new and unproven services?
  • How can telcos provision the SIMS, and number the vast quantity of devices involved?
  • How do you price and charge for such varied services?
  • Where should intelligence reside, in the device, the network or the cloud?
  • How do you guarantee the quality of service levels needed for life and death data?
  • Which operators are most active in new M2M services, and what has it taught them?

M2M Now will be covering all industries using machine-to-machine communications (fixed line & wireless) for business-to-business users and consumers’ connected devices. These industries include: automotive, energy & water utilities, fleet management & telematics, healthcare, manufacturing, retail & vending, security & access control, telecoms, and transport & logistics.  From the first issue, it will also feature Board-Level Interviews with executives from Network Operators, Service Providers & Aggregators, Technology Enablers & Vendors, and Corporate End Users.

River publishers

The Internet of Things is the emerging technology which interconnects smart objects using wireless communications. After having been extensively studied in academic labs, the Internet of Things is now widely applied in the industrial world (e.g. domestic automation, smart metering, smart cities).

Internet of Things and M2M Communications presents the key concepts used in the Internet of Things. In particular, Machine to Machine (M2M) communications have to be energy efficient so that all the smart objects may operate for years on a single battery. Besides, whilst constructing an efficient global digital world combining personal/private and external/general data, security and privacy issues have also to be covered adequately.

Connected World

Connected World is the business and technology publication that provides the intelligence industry titans need and the guidance consumers crave. Reporting on next-generation M2M, every issue helps readers stay on the cutting-edge of connectivity innovation, offering up insights into technology trends. It’s all about M2M.