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In simple words, machine to machine communication refers to the interaction as well as exchange of data across two wired or wireless systems. The purpose and relevance of this type of communication is that it allows two devices of the same kind to interact with each other without the need for any third- party intervention. With respect to the Internet of Things scenario, Machine to Machine communication or M2M gives a basic idea about how the internet will expand under IoT and how all physical objects as well as entities will be able to communication with each other with the help of next generation intelligence and sensors.
Another way of putting this is that with the help of Internet of Things and Machine to Machine Communication (M2M), networked devices will be able to perform all actions as well as interact with each other without the need of any manual assistance from human beings.
Relevance of M2M Technology in Internet of Things (IoT):
It will not be wrong to state that M2M is a significant part of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. With the use of Machine to Machine communication and technology, all businesses as well as industries can be benefitted to a very large extent. Some of the common areas of application of M2M technology is robotics, logistics, health care, smart cities, defense, smart grids and industrial automation among others.
The role played by M2M in the field of Internet of Things is evident from the fact that it is not at all feasible to dream of the global implementation of IoT technology without the use of M2M communication and technology.
How M2M technology will affect IoT?
The ongoing debate regarding the relevance of M2M technology in IoT proves that in order to be able to create a globally connected world, it is necessary for the M2M technology to be largely adopted. In fact, the extent of usage as well as benefit caused by M2M communication to IoT will be largely determined by the extent to which IPv6 will get adopted across all countries in the world.
Why is IPv6 crucial in M2M communication?
The global breakthrough of Internet of Things technology is only feasible if the ongoing adoption as well as deployment of IPv6 i.e. Internet Protocol Version 6 becomes successful. This is due to the reason that the deployment of IPv6 is necessary because all the machine- readable identifiers as well as sensors are very crucial for turning the Internet of Things scenario into a reality and for this purpose, the world needs an extremely massive address space. Even though the current address spaces offered by IPv4 will not get exhausted in the near future, its size is definitely not enough for supporting the huge requirement for address spaces that we are going to need in the IoT inspired future.
Application areas of M2M communication and technology
Below are some of the application areas of IoT and M2M technology:
- The most common use of Machine to Machine communication is in the field of remote monitoring, which is being adopted by the automotive industries as well.
- In product restocking, vending machines are capable of messaging the distributor whenever an item is running out of stock. In such warehouse management systems, M2M communication and technology is of huge relevance. The use of remote controls, traffic control systems, supply chain management, robotics, logistic services, telemedicine as well as fleet management also makes use of the M2M technology at large. This machine to machine communication and transfer of information forms the basis of the IoT technology.
- Telemetry is yet another very prevalent area of usage of the M2M technology. Telemetry is in operation since a very long time and its major use is in the transfer of operational data. The pioneers in the field of telemetry first used wired telephonic lines for the transfer of information but later on switched to radio waves. With the help of internet as well as the improved standards of wireless technology, the use of telemetry is no longer limited to telephonic lines; rather today we can witness the use of this M2M technology in our day to day items of use, such as home heating units, internet- connected appliances and electric meters, etc.
In fact, all automatic systems around us make use of the M2M technology in one way or the other. Some of the key components used in M2M systems include Wi-Fi, autonomic computing, cellular links for communication, RFID, programming software, sensors, etc. All these elements together help a networked device to interpret data on its own in order to be able to come to the right decisions.
The scope and relevance of M2M technology is evident from the fact that products laced with IoT are referred as “Smart” by its end users.
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