Jürgen Hase writes:
Machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) run through all areas of life and work. Cars, cargo containers, parking spaces or even wristwatches and coffee cups – everything around us is on the verge of being connected. To shape this development and make its benefits available to both businesses and private individuals, Deutsche Telekom has been actively engaged in the M2M ecosystem for several years.
More than 600 companies from 56 countries participate in the M2M Partner Program, a global platform for offering and finding M2M solutions. Deutsche Telekom’s M2M Marketplace, the world’s first online shop dedicated to M2M and the Internet of Things, was established in 2012. For developers and startups, the Developer Community offers everything that is needed to connect machines and create new solutions.
Deutsche Telekom expects the following developments in 2014:
Smart Factories to foster individual manufacturing: Industrial applications are the all-time paragon of M2M. Initiatives such as Industry 4.0 – a high-tech strategy of the German Government – bring connected technologies in manufacturing processes back into the spotlight. The targeted point of arrival is the Smart Factory which is ruled by totally new modes of production. It takes individual customer requirements into consideration and models both business and engineering processes dynamically. The Smart Factory can adapt quickly to changing demands and handles resources more efficiently than ever.
M2M in the automotive industry: the aftermarket is up and coming: The automotive industry continues to be one of the biggest growth areas. Applications such as predictive maintenance, entertainment services and remote monitoring – including more comprehensive fleet management solutions – drive the market for connected cars. Since automobile manufacturers will need a few years to implement the technology in series, there is a huge opportunity for the automotive aftermarket. In 2014, more M2M solutions for car dealers will enter the market which will offer value-added services to their customers and are independent of car manufacturers.
Big Data Analytics: combining different data sources will generate new services: Since Big Data Analytics entered the M2M stage, several evaluation solutions for different segments have emerged. Today, we can analyse massive amounts of data generated by wind turbines, for example, to predict potential faults and make sure everything works as efficient as possible. But this is just the beginning. The next phase of Big Data Analytics will bridge the gaps of different domains and generate new services, by combining machine data with information from the internet, such as weather reports or posts from social media and collaboration platforms.
Breaking new ground: M2M targets consumer markets: Today, most companies engaged in M2M are driven by B2B transactions. In the years to come, more and more of them will engage in the Internet of Things and consumer-related products. Personal tracking devices and wearable technology will boom in 2014.Examples of these include data glasses and smart watches as well as health and fitness devices that monitor vital signs such as respiration and body temperature or heart rate. Decreasing prices of track and trace modules suggest that we will also witness the next generation of small and affordable tracking solutions entering the market.
Smart Cities drive M2M in the public sector: M2M is an enabling technology for Smart City applications such as parking management and remote control of street lights. Rising populations and declining budgets induce cities to deploy connected ICT solutions. These solutions make complex administrative tasks manageable, build sustainable and competitive structures, and ultimately improve the level of service for citizens. In 2014, lighthouse projects for smarter cities are likely to appear, which give us a foretaste of what is to come in the next decades.
Global Alliances will expand: Since M2M is a global business and even SMEs are continuously going in for global operations, alliances will be more important than ever. They are the key to providing seamless M2M services in all countries and are necessary to improving quality of service and establishing M2M communication standards. In November 2013, the Global M2M Association expanded into Asia and North America and in 2014, established cooperative efforts and initiatives will be further expanded and consolidated.
|Jürgen Hase is Vice President of the M2M Competence Center at Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom currently supports 140 million mobile customers, over 31 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines worldwide.