M2M stands for “”machine-to-machine”” communications. Essentially, it is the exchange of data between a remote machine and a back-end IT infrastructure. The transfer of data can be two-way:
- Uplink to collect product and usage information
- Downlink to send instructions or software updates, or to remotely monitor equipment
In the past, the high cost of deploying M2M technology made it the exclusive domain of large organizations that could afford to build and maintain their own dedicated data networks. Today, the widespread adoption of cellular technology has made wireless M2M technology available to manufacturers all over the world.
Wireless M2M applications include connectivity-enabled devices that use a cellular data link to communicate with the computer server. A database to store collected data and a software application that allows the data to be analyzed, reported, and acted upon are also key components of a successful end-to-end solution.