What is M2M
M2M is the moniker used throughout the computer industry to refer to machine-to-machine technology. This type of technology allows machines of similar capabilities to “talk” to each other, either through wired or wireless connectivity. Information is stored in the “cloud,” which is a network that brings together applications, platforms and infrastructure to quickly and easily deliver information to the requesting computer. The cloud can be either private like the computer networks in hospitals or public like websites on the Internet.
What does M2M do for us?
What is amazing about M2M is that it has grown from simply a one-to-one dialogue between two machines to accessing networks around the globe. It has proven invaluable to international businesses and the medical community over the past fifteen years. It has also expanded beyond the business world to reach our homes.
For larger Companies...
Many large companies use machine-to-machine technology to consolidate their computer networks and allow their technology departments to troubleshoot issues remotely. It is also possible to remotely connect a computer in one building to a printer in another building, which reduces the expense of purchasing multiple printers. The M2M technology also allows the sharing of certain information on a network drive housed in one place with its subsidiaries miles away for consistent management throughout the company.
For the Medical Community...
Most hospitals and doctors’ offices now use this technology to share patient information with different departments. For example, if a patient in the cardiac unit needs to have an MRI, the information on the patient can be transferred right to the MRI technician’s computer, and the results can be sent back to the main computer. These results can also be electronically transferred to the physician’s office for their records. This cuts down on the time needed to physically mail or deliver test results to the treating physician.
For the Home Owner...
Homeowners can now take advantage of machine-to-machine technology to ensure their home is safe and running efficiently. Many home security companies are offering customers the ability to receive text messages when their house alarm is triggered or to lock or unlock their doors remotely. Even some of the newer appliances have built-in technology that will alert the owner when routine maintenance should be performed or when a repair is needed.
The Smart Grid...
The Smart Grid is also joining the M2M revolution. While it already consolidates energy supply to efficiently and economically distribute electricity, it presently does not share the information collected in the same efficient way. Throughout the United States and the world, efforts are still underway to connect all energy areas so information can be easily shared, allowing for remote access to consumption data by both utility companies and customers and also allow companies to respond to power outages quicker and easier.
Remote Diagnostics Software
A convenient and perhaps life-saving feature of machine-to-machine technology lies in its ability to allow remote diagnostic software to examine essential equipment to determine if it requires service or should be upgraded. This is especially vital with medical equipment that needs to be at optimal performance without fail. Another convenience is that machines connected to the network also are able to receive automatic updates of software as soon as it is available, rather than manually notifying customers and waiting for the end-user to initiate the update.
M2M technology has brought us the world at our fingertips. We can control the environment in our homes, connect with other people around the world, and share vital information. From one machine to another, we can view information not previously available, such as utility usage and medical records, with ease. This technology can help us organize and manage our lives so we can continue to live them.