Sprint on Tuesday opened its M2M Collaboration Center, a lab designed to cook up machine-to-machine wireless technology and create commercially viable products.
So-called machine-to-machine connections refer to the Internet of things. In a nutshell, your fridge will be able to talk to a smart grid and various sensors in everyday items will communicate.
For wireless carriers, this focus on connected devices and machines is all about growth. The retail wireless market is saturated. For instance, AT&T's third quarter subscriber growth was largely driven by connected devices like e-readers. Verizon Wireless had a similar tale.
Sprint was early on the machine-to-machine connections. Its Burlingame, Calif. center will open with 30 partners initially. These partners will include companies like Ericsson, Intel and Panasonic as well as Sierra Wireless and a bevy of companies focused on telematics, surveillance and the smart grid. The collaboration center will work on connecting routers, medical equipment, laptops, billboards, cameras and other devices armed with sensors.
The collaboration center rides shotgun with Sprint's Command Center Store, which offers developer kits, modules and prototypes for machine-to-machine connections.