Local Companies Focus on M2M Adoption

By Shankar Pandiath January 02, 2013

The M2M space heralds the era when machines will talk to machines. Programmers are trying to develop software that would enable a myriad of devices to exchange information and data. The major challenges in this space are with regard to management, security, and analysing all the data such machine to machine connections will produce.

Mobile service providers see a big opportunity here and networking software providers are focussed on overcoming the new challenges in M2M space. Mind Commerce, a Boston based company, has been tracking more than 40 strategic alliances formed in recent years that are focused on M2M challenges.

“If there is one main barrier to M2M adoption, it is the concept of moving sensitive data through the Internet,” said David Laing, an analyst with Natick-based VDC Research, in an October blog. “In a recent VDC survey ... we found that security was cited as challenge to implementation by 25–30 percent of respondents.”

On the website of New Bedford-based Inex Advisors, company president Chris Rezendes posted on a blog, a post on 10 major signs that indicate the Internet of things (IoT) and M2M market are moving to the next phase. Among other signs, Rezendes mentions younger techies who are serious about creating real value, and are shifting their focus from frivolous M2M applications to commercial context and increases corporation interest in “lighting up the dark assets.”

“IoT and M2M implications will be on the agenda of a vast majority of corporate development personnel – regardless of their status sorting out overall mobility, social media and big data,” Rezendes stated. “The intelligent application of these technologies will be centered on compliance and customer experience.”

“An ‘industrial Internet’ could yield $276 billion in savings across five sectors for which General Electric Co. sells products and services,” says Peter Evans, a GE doctorate researcher a from MIT.

 “The Industrial Internet starts with embedding sensors and other advanced instrumentation in an array of machines,” Evans and GE economist Marco Annunziata Annunziata wrote in a study published in November. “This allows the collection and analysis of an enormous amount of data, which can be used to improve machine performance ... Even the data itself can become ‘intelligent,’ instantly knowing which users it needs to reach.”

All companies big and small are interested and are pushing the envelope for M2M sector, GE and IBM being the prominent ones. EMC Corp., Foxboro’s Axeda Corp., sells an M2M application, Hologic Inc. in Bedford, and the Boxborough blade server vendor, Egenera Inc., deserve mentions.

Orvito, Waltham based company developed a suite of IoT applications. Application programming interfaces, managed services handling M2M connectivity and other details are offered by Foxboro, and Boston-based Wyless. Axeda is focused on the M2M sector. Axeda’s product innovation director Joseph Biron is on the panel of speakers at the M2M Evolution conference, which is scheduled for late January and early February in Miami. Axeda’s strategy chief Bill Zujewski will address a meet at M2M World Congress in London next April on how to “M2Mize” the enterprises. Axeda’s own Connexion conference is scheduled for early May in Boston, a very important one for for application developers and business development managers.

Internet pioneer Vince Cerf of Google addressed the Internet of things in mid-December, at Usenix’s LISA ’12 conference in San Diego. Consumers need a way to manage different internet enabled devices from centrally located controllers. According to Cerf auto-discovery of devices by controllers will be crucial, but consumers will still have to handle the whole management of their array of devices after they “program” their homes to their own tastes.

“I used to tell jokes about Internet-enabled light bulbs,” Cerf said. “Someone handed me one the other day. It’s an IPv6 radio-enabled LED lightbulb – costs about $20 or so, and the controller goes for another $150. It’s an expensive light bulb, but in fact this is the harbinger of things to come.”

Edited by Rich Steeves

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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