Machine to Machine / M2M communication is a concept that refers to communication that involves exchange of data between two or more machines without human interface / intervention. The network of communication between machines can be of wired or the recent wireless version that operates in collaboration with IoT technology.
Usually in common term usage M2M communication refers to cellular communication for embedded devices. An example of this can be ATMs getting authorization to dispense certain amount.
M2M v/s IoT:
There exists a subtle difference in M2M and IoT within the tech sphere. Both caters to exchange and communication of data that serves as connectivity solutions, this initiates a misunderstood reference that leaves the two terms to be used as synonyms. Though the two advancements talk extensively regarding remote device access, they do differ in terms of how they achieve connectivity. Let’s dive and explore!
Concerning the primary differentiation, M2M is the forerunner of IoT. M2M is the foundation that regulates and conducts connectivity, upon which IoT technology is built with advancements over time. M2M focuses on point-to-point communications with the use of hardware components embedded in the machine. On the contrary, IoT relies on standards-based IP networks to interface device data to a cloud or middleware platform.
With specific regard to connection, M2M connects machines to machines. While on the other hand, IoT connects machines to machines, integrates web applications and transfer it to a cloud where data is consolidated in its digital format and further communicated to receiver as real-time data.
In short, IoT is a bigger vision that is powered with emerging innovations and advancements of M2M applications. M2M does not require IoT for functioning whereas IoT requires M2M for its progressive working.
M2M networks are very similar to LAN or WAN networks but are exclusively used to allow machines for controlled communication that performs apt functions when needed. These machines feed information they collect back to other machines in the network. This process allows a human (or an intelligent control unit) to assess what is going on across the whole network and issue appropriate instructions to member devices. Alongside, it reduces human interaction for scheduled functions to be operated from time to time.
In conclusion as a takeaway meaning of M2M; Machine to Machine communication is one such data communication method that exists among programmed devices and machines that provide cognitive services / operations, thereby lowering human to machine and vice versa interaction. It seeks to strengthen automation and predictive maintenance.