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Jan 20th 2015

Behind the Scenes: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Overview

When machines “talk” they do so in a language known as “telemetry.” The concept of telemetry — remote machines and sensors collecting and sending data to a central point for analysis, either by humans or computers isn’t necessarily new but the machine to machine (M2M) concept takes that communication to a whole new level. M2M is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans and is often used for remote monitoring.

Revolutionizing Everything

More and more devices are being connected to the world’s broadband networks which are changing the ecosystem in wireless today. According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the number of smart homes in Europe and North America reached 10.6 million in 2014. The most successful products on the smart home market include smart thermostats, security systems, smart light bulbs, network cameras and multi-room audio systems.

As smart, connected devices talk to each other and share information on a central hub, the network derives situational awareness to enable intelligent decision-making and action. For example, your thermostat, smartphone GPS and calendar can submit data, your network can infer that you are on your way home and set the heater at an optimal temperature before you arrive. Meanwhile the smart meter connecting your home in a two-way communication with the electric grid can help you monitor your energy usage in real time so you can adjust your consumption and control your utility bill. Your connected car’s dashboard to Google Maps, foursquare, send maintenance information to your dealer and information of your driving habits to your insurance provider. Healthcare’s M2M adoption, sometimes called telehealth, uses medical devices and communication technology together to monitor diseases and symptoms. These are just some examples of how machine-to-machine communication can profoundly change the way we live, work and play. An article by ZDNet describes 5 cool things you didn’t know M2M could do … from milking the benefits at dairy farms to keeping lights on bodysuits in sync with music.

How Machine-to-Machine Works

One of the main elements involved in a machine-to-machine communications system are sensors (usually the kind that can send telemetry wirelessly). The sensors are embedded remotely and capture events such as temperature, location, consumption, blood pressure, etc. The events captured by the sensor are relayed over a wireless network and delivers this data to applications connected to the internet. This turns them into intelligent assets that open up a range of possibilities for how businesses are run by shortening lead-times and improving services; thus, giving them a competitive edge.

Our engineering team at KMB is heavily engaged in this ecosystem working with M2M Spectrum providing full Turnkey deployment solutions from site acq through design and construction.


KMB brings robust experience, results oriented designs and solutions, and a time sensitive client focused approach to all our assignments whether wireless telecom, solar or MEP we have the dedicated team of professionals to deliver. With experience in multiple LEED projects and energy intensive markets, we look to propose and implement environmentally sound practices on all projects based upon historical evidence of practical, economical results.