Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Some M2M applications...

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications are found within a wide range of industries, these include automatic meter reading (AMR), vending machines, point of sales (POS) terminals, transport and logistics (fleet management), healthcare, security technology and many other applications.

M2M Embedded Systems are used to integrate technologies such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Java and Zigbee to terminals that are connected to applications. (Find our more on M2M Embedded Systems...)

Example Applications...

How does it work?

Automatic Meter Reading

Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) automatically collects consumption, diagnostic and status data from water meter or energy metering devices (water, gas, electric) and transfers the data to a central database for maintenance issues, billing, troubleshooting and analysis. This saves time for Engineers to take periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter. The billing can also be based on real time consumption rather than on estimates.

AMR technologies can be handheld, mobile or network technologies based on telephony platforms (wired and wireless), radio frequency (RF) or power line transmission. The devices can connect to a central host via a wireless network from any location and transmit data from one another.

Vending Machine Monitoring

Vending machine monitoring can automatically collect stock levels, sales transactions, vending temperature, ingredient levels and send alarms on events of crime and stock shortages. The data and information is transmitted to a central host and read on an internet based system or sent directly to a computer located in the headquarters.

The communication to the vending machine is made over wireless networks. The technology connected is usually a cellular GSM/GPRS modem or GSM/GPRS router connecting via an RS-232 interface providing connectivity to wireless networks.

M2M communications market revenues to reach $1.9bn in 2016

World satellite M2M communications market earned revenues of $726m in 2009 and is estimated to reach $1.90bn in 2016, according to market research company Frost & Sullivan analysis.

The market observer said that the US is dominating the world satellite M2M communications market, with 62% share, while the Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience maximum growth in terms of regional share in the long term.

The report said that the development of worldwide, wireless, wireline, and satellite networks in the last twenty years has set the stage for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and equipment to utilise these existing networks.

Daniel Longfield, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said: "Smaller hardware paves the way for greater potential in the M2M industry to foray into new areas, especially in the in mobile or communication-on-the-move applications.

"Reduced equipment costs further accelerated opportunities by helping in the monitoring and tracking of more assets.

"The average revenue per user among cellular operators is in the range of $6 to $7 per month, whereas satellite companies are in the $24 per month range. Additionally, hardware prices for satellite M2M equipment range from $74 to $3,200."

The research firm said that as hardware sales grow, economies of scale will develop and contribute to reductions in unit prices for M2M equipment. As prices fall for M2M equipment, more opportunities will materialise in the vertical markets.

Read full story here..