Exchanging information or data from one place, person or group to another is widely known as communication.
This transfer of information can be either between living or between inanimate objects depending on the form it is used.
Communication among people enabled mankind to connect which led to several revolutions in the last few centuries.
Similarly, with the creation of man-made machines and their expeditious growth in the last few decades, their internal communication is now advancing towards a new revolution that will redefine the concept of connectedness and will bring a new class of smart and connected machines.
Witnessing the speedy upgradation of technology, the world is now getting connected more than ever with the introduction of smart devices and the internet.
This is all thanks to M2M Communication Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Living in a world of smart machines that are constantly generating data at an unprecedented scale, the time taken to process and store this collected data is endless if not reduced properly. This is where a more efficient model of operations is needed when the machines can share data between them.
Therefore, making machines smarter with more information and enables them to make informed decisions.
That’s the reason why we are going to discuss “What is M2M Communication and its Applications?”
What is Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication?
Similar to its name, Machine-to-machine communication, or M2M is defined as the communication or exchange of data between two or more machines without any human interaction.
When someone asks “What is M2M Communication?”, we can define it as a type of cellular communication happening in two or more than two embedded devices.
Examples of M2M Communication Technology could be vending machines sending out inventory information or any ATMs getting authorization to dispense cash.
In personal lives, this example can include a fitness tracker speaking to a cell phone or any wireless sensor to an office computer.
In industrial contexts, M2M Communication can occur between sensors, machine tools and any other information systems.
M2M Communication means “Machine to Machine” interaction. This interaction occurs among billions of devices and machines that are either connected to the internet or are connected.
Industrial IoT (IIoT) and M2M Communication are often used interchangeably due to their similar operations and scope, however, in reality, they differ in many aspects.
IIoT Vs. M2M Communication
Since both IIoT and M2M Communication Technology involve interaction between networked entities, some confusion always happens between the two.
The distinction lies in the terms of a transaction of data as IIoT works on a broader system of connected, communicating devices, while M2M Communication Technology refers to direct information exchanges between two devices.
The main distinction lies in the technology as in M2M Communication, many networks don’t need a central hub unlike IIoT and its devices can connect and communicate without using the internet.
In fact, M2M Communication is often referred to as a subset of IoT.
How does M2M Communication Technology Works?
Considered the fastest-growing type of connected device technology in the market right now, M2M Technology can connect millions of devices within a single network.
And the range includes anything from vending machines to vehicles to medical equipment to buildings.
It may sound complex, but the driving thought behind this technology is quite simple. Generally, M2M Communication networks are very similar to LAN or WAN networks but are unlike those networks, M2M allows machines, sensors, and controls, to communicate.
These connected devices then feed information they collect back to other devices in the network and allow the intelligent control unit to assess what is going on across the whole network to issue appropriate instructions to other member devices.
Types of M2M Communication
Essentially, there are two types of M2M Communication Technology present that include,
Wired and Non-Wired or Wireless M2M Communication.
Wired M2M Communication
As the name suggests, wired M2M Communication Technology refers to data transfer between the devices occurring over a wired transfer medium.
This type of M2M Communication can be done through either fiber optic cables, EtherCAT, or coaxial cables. Though rare, wired networks are now only used in cases where wireless signals are susceptible to interference.
Wireless M2M Communication
On the other hand, when machines use wireless communication methodology to interact among devices, it is called wireless M2M Communication Technology.
M2M Communication that majorly uses the wireless network for communication is termed under Internet of Things or IoT.
Applications of M2M Communication
Pointing out some of the most popular use cases of M2M Communication Technology includes,
- Smart Meters
- In-car Telemetry Services
- Smart Asset Tracking Services
- Wearable Technologies
- Supply Chain Management (SCM) Solutions