Machine to Machine (M2M)

Machine to Machine refers to technologies that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type. Machine to Machine connections may use various wireless or wired networking, information and communications technology. This broad term is particularly used by business executives. Machine to Machine is considered an integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings several benefits to industry and business in general, as it has a wide range of applications in many fields, such as industrial automation, logistics, smart grid, smart cities, health, and defense. It is used mostly for monitoring but can also be used for control purposes.

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) can serve all of the sensors and machine-readable identifiers needed to make the Internet of Things a reality with its extremely large address space. Consequently, the future success of Machine to Machine, as an integral part of the IoT, will require the successful global adoption of IPv6.

Machine to Machine can include the case of industrial instrumentation – comprising a device (such as a sensor or meter) to capture an event (such as temperature, inventory level, etc.) that is relayed through a network (wireless, wired or hybrid) to an application (software program) that translates the captured event into meaningful information (for example, items need to be restocked). Such communication was originally accomplished by having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which would then be rerouted into a system like a personal computer.

More recent Machine to Machine communication has changed into a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. The expansion of IP networks across the world has made Machine to Machine communication quicker and easier while using less power. These networks also allow new business opportunities and connections between consumers and producers in terms of the products being sold.

Machine to Machine was originally used for automation and instrumentation but now has been also used to refer to telematics applications.