M2M no longer a pipe dream

M2M no longer a pipe dream

Summary: Innovations in mobile tech has opened new opportunities in the machine-to-machine industry, with providers offering SIM and fleet management services to smart meters and CCTVs.


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  • NUS smart meter

    Both Gemalto and Singapore company Power Automation also worked together to implement M2M-enabled power meters at the National University of Singapore's UTown Residence. 

    See Gim Kerk, director of engineering at Power Automation, explained the smart meter tracks the use of electricity in the hostel and, by doing so, is equipped to offer residents to purchase electricity credits for air conditioners in their rooms.

    The meters display residents' remaining credits, send messages for them to buy more credits when it is running low, as well as display real-time loading and warnings for impending electrical trips, See said.

    Lakhi Baug, M2M sales manager for Asia at Gemalto, added the smart meters are embedded with mobile connectivity so they can connect to a server which collects the usage data, enable real-time feedback to the service provider and control parameters to facilitate the efficient distribution of electricity.

    Besides efficient power management, the smart meters reduce manpower cost as they eliminate the need for staff to visit the hostel to take physical meter reading.

  • NUS electric vehicle

    Photo credit: NUS Engineering

    NUS is also the home of the single-seater, micro-electric vehicle. The university has partnered Toyota Tsusho Asia-Pacific to research the viability of such vehicles for short travel distances.

    Richard Lee, general manager for the IT and Electronics Department at Toyota Tsusho Asia-Pacific, explained that M2M is used in this research project to manage the fleet of vehicles as part of a car-sharing scheme. The data transmitted to backend servers helps track and monitor the performance and location of these vehicles, he said. 

Topics: Networking, Emerging Tech, Telcos, Business Intelligence

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • It's called TCP/IP.

    "Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication has been in existence in some form or another for a long time"

    It's called TCP/IP. And a host of other related protocols. It's not like you really need anything special for "M2M" communications. Machines have been communicating with each other since ARPNET was invented.
  • I agree ...

    I'm not sure what all the big hype is about, like you said this is nothing new as this has been around the manufacturing world for years.
  • More and More Varied

    Yes, machines have been communicating for some time now. But the type and number is rapidly expanding. They are also becoming more autonomous.