The media’s all abuzz about Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology, but what exactly does it mean?
If you’ve used a garage door opener you’ve used a form of M2M technology – it’s machines talking to one another. Now, just add in some wireless communication and specialized software, and… the future is now.
M2M connects machines wirelessly to the internet so users can:
– Monitor and control machines and environments
– Receive alerts if anything goes wrong
– Respond remotely to correct the problems
For example, let’s say a brew master is sleeping peacefully when, at 2 AM, one of his brew tanks is close to exceeding the maximum temperature while the wort boils. In the past, the brewmaster would have to manually control the burners, and be present to ensure excessive temperatures don’t ruin the batch. But with M2M, safety mechanisms automatically respond to the changing temperatures in the brewers tank, turning the burners off, and beginning the whirlpool process seamlessly. Letting the brewer sleep, with the crisis averted, the beer batch has been saved and the beer maker is back to snoring.
M2M tech allows remote monitoring because devices can now communicate wirelessly from anywhere in the world. There are four basic components to this technology:
Sensor/Microprocessor: This hardware component can collect, send and receive data
Wireless Communication: The data is sent via secure, wireless phone technology
Specialized Software: The data is received through an app that has been designed specifically for a company’s needs. If there is a problem, an algorithm is activated that sends an alert to the user.
Data Analysis Tools: Users can learn from the information they’ve received, generate reports, verify compliance, identify trends and more.
Many craft breweries still rely on manual activation of their boilers
Having access to previously unavailable data can afford business owners new insights to help them improve their services, products and processes, predict trends, generate new business and, ultimately, increase profits.
The M2M tech world is rapidly expanding and we’re just beginning to discover the potential of machine-to-machine communications to deliver additional big benefits to businesses. I could go on to list some of the major benefits we’ve already discovered, but then again, that’s a whole other blog.