With constant water shortages, massive food importing, and deadly temperatures, Las Vegas is a perfect place for M2M.
It sure is an exciting time to be in this business.
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology has graduated from the simple garage door openers to fleet management, and beyond. Business owners, government reps and tech geeks flocked last month to the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, where wireless giant Verizon hosted a trade show featuring a wide variety of its M2M partners. We were honored to be among them.
Besides manning our own booth (we gave live demos of tank and refrigerator monitoring), it was fun for Omni’s VP of Business Development Brad David and me to walk around, check out presentations and products, and talk to others in this burgeoning field. By far the biggest segment represented at the show was fleet management. Since this is one of the areas Omni specializes in, it was interesting to see how others showcased the benefits of remote fleet management like automated mileage logs, GPS tracking, route analysis and access to track conditions.
Some of the other partners at the trade show illustrated the spectrum of possibilities for M2M tech:
- Cradlepoint: Supplies Redbox (DVD Rental kiosks) and Coinstar (coins-to-cash kiosks) with their wireless connection. Without this connectivity, Redbox and Coinstar couldn’t process credit card payments or schedule deliveries when they’re needed.
- Feeney Wireless: Demonstrated a mobile-ready office (MRO), featuring cellular and satellite communication with a multi-day, built-in battery. The MRO is ideal for remote working conditions and disaster response situations, where critical communications and infrastructure are compromised.
- Field Sync: Showcasing healthcare products that reduce reliance on time-consuming paper database systems. Care providers save money on paper costs, storage, and dramatically improve employee assignment and reporting capabilities.
One of the highlights of the show, was the VGo robot, showcased by Verizon.
The robot stands in for a person (healthcare worker, student, business person, etc.) in a remote location so that they can see, hear, be seen, be heard, interact, learn and perform their job as if they were there. It was especially moving to see how positively this technology can impact handicapped or chronically ill students who can be “remote students” and continue to learn despite their physical limitations.
Many see the immense opportunity represented by M2M, and Verizon has taken a lead in nurturing major innovations for people and processes. We’re already seeing many of these exciting applications come to life, and the potential for new ideas that can help people access information, run their businesses more efficiently, and gain more time is near limitless.