What is M2M?
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.