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Machine-to-machine technology gears up for growth

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There are many more machines - defined as things with mechanical, electrical, or electronic properties - in the world than people. And a growing number of machines are networked. Harbor Research, a technology consultancy and analysis firm, estimates that by 2010, at least 1.5 billion devices will be Internet-connected worldwide. The increasingly popular machine-to-machine technology plans to take advantage of these developments. M2M would leverage connectivity to enable machines - including manufacturing and telecommunications equipment, data centers, storage tanks, property-security products, industry-specific assets such as public-utility systems, and even vending machines - to communicate directly with one another. M2M is based on the idea that a machine has more value when it is networked and that the network becomes more valuable as more machines are connected. Sensors that gather the information that some M2M systems transmit are becoming more widely used and thus are driving demand for the technology. The biggest new trend is that vendors are expanding M2M into wireless technology, using radio chips or modules they can attach to almost any device or machine. Thus, M2M is gearing up for exponential growth.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 9 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 2004

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