M2M technology is commonly thought of in terms of savings. For example, smart grids can save electricity, telehealth can save lives, asset tracking can save products; and of course all of these can save money. Even though it is agreed that M2M technology can save people many things in different ways, M2M is also a technology that can fill in gaps and provide convenience in everyday interactions.
On Wednesday at the M2M Zone Conference at CTIA Wireless , top executives in the M2M industry spoke about M2M in terms of the public’s benefit. The panel covered such topics as smart cities and M2M in social media, but what really stood out was the everyday ways M2M can enter a person’s live.
Jay Olearain, president of nPhase at Verizon , gave the example of connected parking meters as an M2M device. The concept of a connected parking meter doesn’t exactly save the customer anything tangible, but it is much more convenient to get a notification on your phone and add more money electronically that it is to run back and forth to a meter.
From a satellite perspective, David Wigglesworth, vice president of data services at Iridum , gave the example of flying over the poles. M2M technology now allows planes to fly over the Polar Regions , which cuts out an hour of flying time for customers. This also saves the airlines fuel usage, but from a travelers perspective it is convenient to be able to get to a destination quicker.
When M2M works within social media it can provide value to the customer. For example, if a car is connected to a personal social media site, that car can post a message on that site when it is time for an oil change. Parents can also use this type of messaging to be informed when a daughter or son arrives at a certain location using the vehicle.
M2M was probably designed to save people tangible things, but overtime it seems it has evolved into something that can be used in a person’s everyday life as well.
“Younger generations are expecting it,” says Olearain, referring to everyday products being connected. According to Olearian, it is easy to walk around, point at something and ask “if that was connected, how would we benefit me.”
Sam Lucero, practice director of M2M Connectivity at ABI Research , agreed. “You don’t have to think of energy saved of lives saved, but think of gaps or conveniences.”