Internet of everything
Internet of everything

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4.1.1 M2M connections

Critical components of modern M2M systems include sensors, actuators, and controllers. They must have a network communications link and programming that instructs a device how to interpret data, and based on predefined parameters, forward that data.Figure 2 shows M2M connections working in an auto plant.

Figure 2

M2M connections are typically present in tracking physical assets, optimizing operations through sensor data and monitoring systems or machines remotely. The most well-known type of M2M communication is telemetry, which is used to transmit performance measurements gathered from monitoring instruments in remote locations. Products with built-in M2M communication capabilities are often marketed as being 'smart products'.

Currently, M2M does not have a standardised connected device platform. These devices communicate using proprietary protocols that are device- or task-specific, and are unable to communicate across other platforms. However, as M2M connections become more prevalent, the need for agreed upon standards will become more crucial.

M2M communication is an important aspect in many industries, including retail, manufacturing, public service and service provider industries. Table 1 provides some examples. As technology continues to evolve, and new connection types become available, new sources of value will emerge.

Table 1 M2M interactions

Shelf sensors

Parking-space sensors

Infrared motion sensors

Weight mats

Environmental sensors (light, temperature)

Door sensors

Mobile payments

Energy meters

Inventory visibility

Automated ordering process

Flexible payment options Energy optimisation


Converged IP factory network

Sensors (vibration, HVAC, lighting)


Sensor-to-ERP connectivity

Input/output machines

Process operation controls

Product packaging

Remote asset monitoring

Predictive maintenance

Flexible production

Public sector

Smart buildings

Smart lighting

Smart payments

Intelligent public transit

Smart grid

Improved citizen/employee/student experience

Improved asset utilisation

New revenue streams

Energy optimisation

Service providers

Car sensors

Appliance sensors


Digital billboards

Unused inventory

Office facilities


Remote site monitoring Service

Smart commerce

Intelligent diagnostics

Targeted advertising

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