The Next Evolution of M2M- Your Personal Social NetworkJune 18, 2013 1 Comment
Featured Article by Rod Danielson, CTO of Outerlink Global Solutions
There has been a lot of buzz recently around Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology or the Internet of Things, which refers to the connections between devices, enabling reporting of information on a person, a place or a thing and the interactions between them. M2M technology has been used in the public safety space for at least 15 years, for example, to connect air and ground emergency vehicles with dispatch. Also, M2M has been used within the public safety world to connect different sectors of public safety to one another (i.e. Fire and Rescue to Police and First Responders). M2M technology has also evolved significantly over the last decade across a variety of industries, with the technology becoming increasingly smaller, lighter and more affordable. Analysts recently predicted that the number of M2M device connections globally will grow to 2.1 billion by 2021.
Today, machines can communicate independently of people and make decisions on their own as opposed to just delivering raw data, as was the case a few years ago. Recently, we have seen the emergence of “connected home” technology and M2M technology in vehicles. For example, cars can communicate with mechanics when they need an oil change; commercial fleet managers have access to critical data on position, speed, heading, diagnostics, and driver behavior; and passengers can enjoy streaming entertainment apps such as weather, sports scores and music all on their vehicle’s in-dash screen. And, in the very near future, a vehicle’s GPS navigation system will be synched with the home network, providing the availability for the user/owner turn on the heat when the vehicle is a certain distance from home.
In today’s connected world, nearly everyone has smartphones, PCs, tablets, even cable boxes which are essentially personal machines that exist in your home or office that manage your life. However, today those machines are not fully integrated or connected with one another.
I predict that the true value of M2M will emerge over the next few years with the increased integration of machines, and more importantly the ability to connect machines not just with other machines, but with people. The future of M2M will be the ability to create our own personal social network, in which we can interact with machines to better manage our world.
For example, today, vending machines are wirelessly connected and provide notifications so that they can be restocked when inventory runs low. In the future, we will see this technology evolve to impact the consumer directly. Employees will be able to access their smartphone to see if their favorite snack is available in the office vending machine before getting up from their desks. If it is not available in that vending machine, they will be able to find the closest available alternative. In consumer terms, we can think of this as “friending” the machine to create your own personal social network. Along with vending machines, this concept of “friending” the things around us to our own network will ring true for all aspects of simple decisions we make on a daily basis. With advanced M2M, not only will we be able to integrate our personal lives with that of machines and various other databases, but we will eliminate the need to make simple daily decisions. For example like discussed previously- say your car needs service; much like applications available today in BMW and Audi, you will be able to schedule that service via your car’s integrated computer. However, taking it one step farther with M2M the computer in your car will have already picked up the data for your personal calendar, and will go ahead and schedule the car service in any time that is deemed “free time” as well as pick up and transport to your nearest dealership. This example of M2M as a wave of the future is only one less step in time consuming decision-making for the consumer.
The next wave of M2M will bring individually tailored machine data to the end users’ fingertips. As machines continue to move the tremendous amount of data that is required to manage your daily life, it will become important that the machines report the right information to the right place exactly when you need it, without you having to ask for it. This social M2M revolution will happen sooner than many people think, and will change the way we interact with the machine-connected world around us.
Rod Danielson, Chief Technology Officer
Rod Danielson, Chief Technology Officer of Outerlink since 2008, joined the company in 2003. Prior to his appointment as CTO, Rod held positions as the Director of Operations and as the VP of Engineering. Rod’s comprehensive understanding of this industry contributes greatly to his additional responsibility as the chief architect of Outerlink’s technology road map. Prior to Outerlink, Rod was an independent technology consultant for the Oil and Gas industry. Rod’s expertise has taken him to numerous remote regions of the world where his software solutions, designed over a decade ago, continue to be a factor in the successful quality control of seismic data acquisition.
Fresh Ink, MOBILE DATA, SOCIAL BUSINESS