Once upon a time, a refrigerator that automatically ordered fresh milk online every two weeks or vending machines that notified a distributor of best sellers in that location in real time were the stuff of cartoons and futurists. Now, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication together with 4G LTE are changing the way people experience the world, making these, and many other ideas, into reality.
M2M capabilities have quietly been shaping the worlds of business and commerce. For example, utility providers employed landlines or radio waves to monitor and gauge services via automated meter readers, allowing shipping companies to track cargo and fleet managers to monitor vehicle locations.
The advent of cellular networks created new opportunities for machines to communicate with one another. By surpassing the limits of short-range radio waves, cellular networks eliminated the need for connecting wires between two machines. As long as the devices were fitted with the proper wireless modules, they could communicate with one another.
Now, 4G LTE is redefining how we experience technology and creating new opportunities across a multitude of industries. Everything from fleet management to smart vending to food delivery can operate more efficiently because of M2M. For example, an online grocer in Europe can now employ M2M solutions to reduce food spoilage by monitoring temperature conditions in its delivery vans.
For M2M, the future is here. Analysts predict significant growth in the M2M space in the next five years tripling the 100 million devices already is use today. Many are calling it a “marketing and operations dream,” highlighting the ability to capture and adjust in real-time supply chain data and consumer insights.
Next month, the world’s leading experts will gather in San Diego at MobileCon 2012 to discuss the state of M2M and what’s on the horizon. With high-speed 4G LTE connections and M2M technologies fueling innovation, new options and possibilities are making life more efficient and convenient.