Internet of Things or Just M2M on Steroids?

With all the hype building around the Internet of Things (IoT), the Future of Wireless Conference in Cambridge on the 1 & 2 July asks the question; is the Internet of Things truly different, exciting and innovative – or just a renaming of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology with a consumer focus?

“The idea of one device talking to another device has been around for years and M2M typically allows computing sensors to communicate or relay information,” says Paul Green, technology and marketing director at Arkessa who will be hosting a session at the conference challenging the popular view of the IoT. “The Internet of Things is not about simply about adding billions more connected devices, it is about harnessing and interacting with information from real objects along with contextual data and other content from the web as we currently know it.”

While the next disruptive development will certainly see the majority of internet traffic generated by ‘things’ rather than by human-operated computers, it is not particularly meaningful to focus on the numbers of connections but more important to look at how to create value from the data and content generated. There is no point in connecting devices just for the sake of it; doing so ultimately needs to create value that people are prepared to pay for.”

So while smart systems may develop into smart cities, how can apparently unrelated multiple data sources combine to create new services and real benefits; and can this be achieved without losing privacy or giving away control to global corporations? “While connected ‘things’ may produce a deluge of data, it will not become useful information unless humans can access and engage with it,” says Mark Lister, Managing Director of Imano who will be on the panel. “The human interface needs to deliver clarity, comfort and confidence and be able to distil huge amounts of data to provide immediate and valuable insight to the user.”

Other speakers in the session will include Rob Barnes, Senior Director, Java Project Management at Oracle who will be talking about the IoT in transition and Chris Barnes, Head of Engineering for Clearview Traffic who will look at the role of the App in the IoT. “M2M is not the Internet of Things, but a subset of the Internet of Things. There is a fundamental difference here and M2M and IoT must not be confused as the same thing,” says Barnes.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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