This year has marked the start of the mobile and big-data age in enterprise IT. A related but distinct trend has also been the emergence of “machine-to-machine” (M2M) communication, which depends on wireless technology and real-time analytics. M2M is revolutionizing technology across a range of industries, from smart meters in energy and utilities (the “smart grid”) to connected vehicles in automotive and logistics, heart monitors in healthcare, RFID‐tagged inventory in retail and manufacturing, and digital signage in media and communications.
Nearly 40% of executives from water utilities think it is “highly likely” that demand will exceed supply by 2030, underscoring the need for better management through innovations like network sensors and smart meters, according to a new study from software giant Oracle and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Some 45% of the 244 executives surveyed for the report reckoned that wasteful consumer behavior is the main barrier to meeting future demand, with about a third of respondents rating worries over climate change and low tariffs as other significant barriers.
M2M technology is finding some novel applications. A new service available from Deutsche Telekom’s M2M Marketplace is designed to provide automatic notifications to livestock farmers when calving begins or when a cow is in heat and ready for insemination.
The system works by means of M2M data-collection devices, equipped with Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) SIM cards, installed in stables or the field. Sensors measure the cow’s vital data and then relay it to the data collection device, which, in turn, sends a text-message notification to the farmer.
Siemens Smart Grid has introduced an updated version of its demand response system, claiming it allows utilities to manage demand response programs more effectively than via traditional processes.
The so-called Demand Response Management System (DRMS) Version 2.0 is supposedly one of the first technologies that can ‘surgically’ target demand reductions through substation, feeder, zip code or geographical location. This means that utilities can reduce power loads at critical sections of their distribution network.
Japan's Nissan Motor Co plans to equip some of its luxury cars with a system to control steering electronically, rather than mechanically, the first time so-called "steer-by-wire" technology will be used in mass-produced vehicles.
The new technology will be introduced in some models of the Infiniti brand within a year, Nissan (Yokohama, Japan) said at a briefing, paving the way for cars that could one day be steered by joysticks and be programmed to avoid crashes automatically.
Isis, a venture of three of the top U.S. mobile providers, said on Monday it has kicked off its much-delayed mobile payments service in two U.S. cities and promised that as many as 20 phone models would support the service by year end.
Isis, formed by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA), is a mobile wallet service that allows consumers to make payments by waving their phone at a check-out terminal, instead of using a plastic card.
Smart-meter business Energy Assets has acquired a subsidiary of Gazprom, the huge Russian gas company, in a £13.5 million ($21.7 million) deal that strengthens its position as one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of gas-metering services to the industrial and commercial (I&C) market.
The Scotland-based firm has announced a takeover of Gazprom Global Energy Solutions (GGES) (Manchester, UK), which provides automated meter reading (AMR) services to gas suppliers and blue-chip companies in the I&C market.
Two types of software platform that underpin the development of the M2M market are forecast to generate $3.85 billion in revenues by 2017, according to a new report from ABI Research.
Application Development Platforms (ADPs) and Connected Device Platforms (CDPs) are becoming critical parts of the M2M ecosystem. AEPs reduce the amount of time it takes to develop M2M applications, while CDPs automate the management of M2M module connectivity, which is of crucial importance in such a low-ARPU market.
Telit has expanded its collaboration with a Chinese start-up in the country’s fast-growing smart-grid sector, helping it to secure a spot in one of the world’s biggest markets for energy-related M2M technology.
Founded in 1996 and funded by the North China Electric Power Research Institute, Beijing Yupont develops electric power metering and automatic meter reading technologies, as well as geographical information systems, electric power meter and load control terminal products.
Itron and C3 Energy have announced a strategic alliance to market energy-management services to North American utilities.
The companies say their tie-up will enable utilities to provide better energy-management services to customers.
Under the arrangement, Itron (Liberty Lake, USA) will combine its smart-metering and data-management products with C3’s energy-management services. The end result, it is hoped, will be used by utilities to help consumers better understand and reduce their energy consumption.