M2M SIM, Machine-to-machine communication is precisely how it sounds: two machines “communicating,” or exchanging data, without human interaction. This includes wireless communications in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Utilising wireless has made M2M communication much more effortless and enabled more connected applications.
When someone says M2M, they often refer to mobile communication for embedded devices. Examples of M2M would be vending machines sending out inventory information or cash machines getting authorisation to dispense cash.
As companies have realised the value of M2M has taken on a new name: the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT and M2M have similar promises: to change the way the world operates fundamentally. Just like IoT, M2M allows practically any sensor to communicate, which opens up the possibility of systems and machines monitoring themselves and automatically responding to changes in the environment, with a much-reduced need for human engagement. M2M and IoT are almost synonymous. The exception is IoT, which typically refers to wireless communications, whereas M2M can refer to any two machines wired or wirelessly communicating.
In the past, M2M focused on “industrial telematics,” which is a fancy way of explaining data transfer for some commercial benefit. But many actual uses of M2M still stand today, like smart meters. Wireless M2M has been dominated by mobile since it came out in 2000 with 2G mobile networks. Because of this, the mobile market has tried to brand M2M as an inherently mobile thing by offering M2M data plans. But mobile M2M is only one subsection of the market, and it shouldn’t be thought of as a mobile-only area.
How does M2M SIM work?
As previously stated, M2M SIMcommunication makes the Internet of Things possible. M2M is one of the fastest-growing types of connected device technologies in the world today, mainly because M2M can connect millions of devices within a single network. The range of connected devices includes medical equipment, vending machines, traffic lights, vehicles and buildings. Practically anything that houses sensor or control technology can be connected to some sort of wireless network.
This sounds complex, but the thought behind the idea is quite simple. M2M networks are very similar to Local Area Networks (LAN) or Wide Area Networks (WAN) but are solely used to allow sensors, controls and machines to communicate. These devices transmit information they collect back to other devices in the network. This process enables a human (or an intelligent control unit) to evaluate what is going on across the entire network and assign appropriate instructions to member devices.
Uses of M2M SIM and their applications
We can see the possibilities in the realm of M2M in four major use cases:
Whether it’s food processing or general product manufacturing, every manufacturing environment relies on technology to ensure costs are appropriately managed, and processes are performed efficiently. Automating production processes within such a fast-paced environment is anticipated to improve processes even more. In manufacturing, this could involve highly automated equipment safety and maintenance procedures.
For example, M2M can allow business owners to be alerted on their smart devices when an essential piece of equipment needs servicing, so they can address issues as quickly as they arise. Complex networks of sensors connected to the Internet could order required parts automatically.
Uses of M2M SIM in the home
IoT already touches home appliance connectivity through platforms like Google Nest. However, M2M is anticipated to take home-based IoT to the next level. Manufacturers like Samsung are already unveiling smarthome appliances to help create a higher quality of life for occupants.
For example, an M2M-capable washing machine can send alerts to the owners’ smart devices once it finishes washing. An intelligent refrigerator could automatically order groceries from Amazon once its inventory is depleted. There are plenty of automations that can improve a homeowner’s quality of life, including systems that allow household members to control HVAC systems using their mobile devices remotely. In circumstances where a homeowner decides to leave work early, they can connect to their home heating system to make sure the temperature at home will be perfect upon arrival.
M2M SIM in healthcare device management
One of the most significant opportunities for M2M technology is in the field of healthcare. With the use of M2M technology, hospitals can automate processes to guarantee the highest levels of treatment. Using smart devices that can react faster than a human in an emergency situation makes this possible. For example, when a patient’s vital signs drop, an M2M-connected life support machine could automatically start until a healthcare professional arrives. M2M can also allow patients to be monitored in their own homes instead of in the hospital. For example, devices that track a frail or older person’s regular movements can detect when they have had a fall and inform a healthcare worker to the situation.
Energy efficiency, automation will soon become the new normal. M2M comes to the rescue as energy companies look for new ways to automate the metering process and automatically gather consumption data to bill customers accurately. Smart meters can record how much energy a home or business uses and automatically notify the energy company; this removes the need to send out an employee to read the meter or requiring the homeowner to provide a reading. This is even more important as utility companies move toward more dynamic pricing models, charging consumers more efficiently for energy usage during peak times.
It is predicted that soon, every object or device will need to connect to the cloud. As more consumers, users, and company owners demand deeper connectivity, technology will need to be continually equipped to meet tomorrow’s needs and challenges. This will enable a wide range of highly automated processes, from equipment repairs and software upgrades to system diagnostics, data retrieval, and analysis. This will deliver information to users, engineers, data scientists, and key decision-makers in real-time, and it will eliminate the need for guesswork.
Companies should consider optimising their business models or providing new value for their customers. For example, if you’re a logistics company, you have obvious choices for machines’ automating logistics decisions. But if you’re a retailer, the shift to automation may not be as evident. It’s a great idea to think of an automated process, like creating advertising that is automatically tied to the local weather and a specific customer through the use of M2M SIM technology. But still, before you move forward with the process, you have to consider the value you’re getting out of it. Will it target the right audience? Will it be effective? How much does it cost to implement?
Any business considering a move into the IoT space needs to understand its business model, how it will provide value for internal processes and your customers and ultimately, will it make money?