I’m at the CES (News - Alert) show as I write this, and machine-to-machine solutions are out in full force here in Las Vegas. This reflects the fact that the world is becoming increasingly connected. Not only are we tied to one another and a wide array of media via our computers and phones, but – more and more – our other appliances, businesses, homes, vehicles and, in some situations, even our sensor-equipped bodies – are becoming connected.
As you’re probably already aware, this movement toward connecting virtually all things has become known as the Internet of things. And it’s becoming so central to our industry, and soon to our very existence, that TMC (News - Alert) decided to expand its M2M Evolution efforts from the M2M Evolution Conference (taking place starting Jan. 29 in Miami) and the M2M Evolution online content and M2M Solutions online community to also include this quarterly publication, which will appear both in print and online. The magazine will provide details on important new developments in the M2M space and help you understand how you, your home (or the homes of your customers) and your organization (or the businesses of your customers) can benefit from machine-to-machine technology in the near and long term, challenges you may face, and solutions you might consider. The publication will offer news, opinions, multisource articles and case studies.
But, for now and in this space, I’d like to provide a quick rundown on the M2M-related news and commentary coming out of CES.
On the connected devices front, Samsung (News - Alert) came out with new cameras that allow users to instantly share photos without plugging in. And a wide variety of companies showed new TVs and video entertainment-related solutions enabling such functionality as more realistic viewing experiences, any device anywhere content consumption, and the ability to share and sync content among multiple devices.
On the smart home front, AT&T (News - Alert) at CES announced plans to commercial launch AT&T Digital Life in eight markets in March. This is digital, wireless service that enables users to leverage their smartphones, tablets and PCs to track and control their home security and heating and cooling systems, and their home appliances. The service -- which is sold in a modular fashion and can include home security cameras; window and door sensors; carbon monoxide, smoke, motion and glass break sensors; thermostats; and more -- is supported by round-the-clock staffed monitoring centers, which alert local fire and police departments, and end users, in the case of an emergency.
LG Electronics was also at CES with its Smart Home Service. The offer combines the company’s media sharing solution with integrated home appliance management capabilities, which LG calles SmartControl. It can enable people to remotely start their washer, peruse the refridgerator, etc.
NETGEAR also announced that it is addressing the connected home. The company introduced the vuezone wireless camera, which consumers can pair with their wireless devices or a web browser to check in on their homes and families while they are away.
The connected care was also a hot topic in CES, as it is in the industry at large.
As M2M Evolution magazine’s Paula Bernier (News - Alert) has reported, Lexus at CES held a press conference to announce that it’s working on building more intelligence into its vehicles to increase safety in a world in which there were 32,000 U.S. traffic fatalities in 2011. While Toyota, Lexus and other automotive companies already have come a long way in advancing technology to allow for a safer driving experience, Lexus management noted additional work on the safety front is taking place at special facilities called TRINA in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the ITS Proving Ground in Japan.
Ford, which a few years ago at CES unveiled a solution that enables smartphones to synchronous with car dashboards to provide drivers and passengers with information and appropriate entertainment, was also at CES promoting its connected car offerings, upon which it continues to improve. And Ford at CES this year unveiled new developer kits to encourage the creation of new applications for use within cars and trucks. Additionally, Ford’s CTO was part of the keynote by Lowell McAdams, chairman and CEO of Verizon, at CES.
Of course, these consumer applications of M2M technology are just part of the story. The possibilities for using M2M in business-based applications are endless. And you’ll learn about both in these pages and subsequent issues of M2M Evolution magazine, as well as at our M2M Evolution Conference and our online portals
Edited by Brooke Neuman