What's the Difference Between IoT and M2M?

Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) are both terms that refer to devices connecting and being accessed remotely. This often leads to confusion around whether or not these terms are interchangeable. However, the reality is that M2M is actually a subset of the IoT system and is one of the most difficult components to implement and manage.

A Brief History of IoT and M2M

The term “Internet of Things” was coined by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton in 1999. IoT is a system of "interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction" (IoT Agenda).

M2M refers to direct communication between devices using any communications channel to the internet, including wired and wireless technologies. Machine-to-machine communication can include industrial instrumentation, enabling a sensor or meter to communicate the data it records to an application software that can visualize the data and make it useful to a user.

The Difference Between IoT and M2M

You see, M2M refers to devices connecting to the internet to extract meaningful machine data using point-to-point communication such as external wireless routers or embedded hardware. IoT refers to the complete system that extracts value from collected data through analytics, AI, and machine learning. This in turn allows a business to make actionable decisions to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences.

Being in the IoT industry and more specifically the M2M connectivity services, OptConnect is on a mission to connect the world. We do the difficult and critical M2M connectivity while your machine seamlessly provides an excellent customer experience. We believe that IoT and M2M will have a critical impact on the way we connect with the world around us. But, without the data ‘fuel’ from M2M, IoT is nothing but a Cadillac of hopes and dreams without any ‘gas’ to move forward.

What Can We Expect From IoT in the Future?

As IoT continues to accelerate new IoT solutions, IoT ideas, and connected technologies will emerge to continue to transform our lives for the better. With our world becoming more connected you can expect the IoT industry to focus more on the following:

  • More connected sensors and applications
  • Data privacy
  • AI Machine learning
  • Tightened security

In thinking about OptConnect’s customers and the future of IoT, we knew we wanted to create a product that could scale with our customers and save them time, money, and help provide a more reliable embedded connectivity solution than what is currently available in the market. That is why we created OptConnect ema™, a fully certified LTE Category 4 modem with onboard intelligence, embedded firmware, and software paired with OptConnect’s industry-leading suite of managed services.

To learn more about ema, please visit https://www.optconnect.com/product/optconnect-ema.

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