M2M & IoT are interchangeable terms. M2M and IoT are not the same. IoT needs M2M, but M2M does not need IoT. Both terms relate to the communication of connected devices, but M2M systems are often isolated stand-alone networked equipment. IoT systems take M2M to the next level, bringing together disparate systems into one large, connected ecosystem.
M2M systems use point-to-point communications between machines, sensors, and hardware over cellular or wired networks, while IoT systems rely on IP-based networks to send data collected from IoT-connected devices to gateways, the cloud, or middleware platforms. Data collected from M2M devices is used by service management applications, whereas IoT data is often integrated with enterprise systems to improve business performance across multiple groups.
IoT and M2M technologies are similar in that they both provide solutions for the collection, storage, and exchange of data between devices under minimal human supervision. an IoT has been largely based on the foundations provided by M2M solutions, it must be added that it has been improving on them ever since it was established as one of the main sources of innovation in the lives of individuals, businesses, and whole societies.
The Internet of Things is an evolution of M2M that increases the things that device connectivity can achieve at both a consumer and an enterprise level. IoT takes the basic concepts of M2M and expands them outward by creating large “cloud” networks of devices that communicate with one another through cloud networking platforms. The technologies used by IoT devices allow users to create fast, flexible, high-performance networks that connect a wide variety of devices.
Examples of IoT devices are all around us today. Smart home voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home are some of the most high-profile examples, along with the huge array of smart home devices that they connect to.
IoT is a subset of M2M technology. IoT involves communication between machines without human input, making it by definition a form of M2M communication. However, IoT expands the power and potential of M2M technology in new ways. Scalability is another key difference between M2M and IoT. IoT is designed to be highly scalable since devices can often be added to a network and integrated into existing systems with minimal hassle.
M2M networks can also be more labor-intensive to set up and maintain since new point-to-point connections must be created for each device. The term “IoT” also typically refers to wireless devices, while M2M may or may not involve wireless communication.
IoT vs M2M – Difference
Point-to-Point vs Network-Based Access
M2M connectivity is achieved through point-to-point communication embedded in on-site hardware. The Internet of Things involves connectivity through IP networks, IoT communication of two devices, gateways, or systems that can be achieved using a network protocol.
Reliance on Software
Another important issue is relying on software. M2M technology is completely hardware-based. In order to communicate, devices don’t even need an Internet connection. But in the Internet of Things, an active connection is required. Also, while IoT relies on hardware (think environmental sensors or wearables), it requires a platform for data processing and aggregation. It’s safe to say IoT is both hardware- and software-based.
Machine-to-machine communication has a limited number of integration options. In order to communicate, devices need to be compatible. Thus it is not possible for two machines with different tech specs to connect using M2M. That’s why technology is widely used for small-scale applications, such as maintenance.
The Internet of Things is designed with large-scale interaction in mind. As soon as a developer has a solution capable of managing communication, the number or the nature of the device is not important. There are no hardware-based integration limits for IoT implementation.
Differences in Data Delivery
Machine-to-machine or Internet of Things communication both enable data gathering. A fundamental difference is that each of them process collected information, Machine-to-machine data is usually directed toward performing a one-off task that improves the maintenance of the device. The Internet of Things has a wider range of opportunities in terms of data visualization and analysis.
All the information collected by a sensor is integrated into an analytics system where it can be compared to data gathered from other sources, broken down into insights, and otherwise analyzed. That’s why IoT is often used by businesses and governments to improve team efficiency and increase an organization’s forecasting abilities.
Subjects of Communication
Machine-to-machine communications are strictly device-based. But the Internet of Things has a broader circle of possible communication subjects. Apart from devices, it can connect humans with machines, a device and a gateway, a gateway and a data system, as well as two data systems. with IoT, a device can get data from the environment around it.
M2M technology is the better choice if
- Your application requires point-to-point communication between machines
- Your application has a limited set of specific machine communication needs that need to be executed quickly and reliably
- Your application needs to be operational whether or not a WiFi connection is available
- Rapid scalability is not a primary concern for your network
- Your device network needs to be isolated for security reasons
On the other hand, IoT may be the best option if
- Your application requires real-time syncing of many different devices throughout a networking cloud
- Your devices have access to a fast and reliable WiFi connection
- Devices on your network need the ability to communicate with multiple other devices simultaneously
- Your application requires smooth and easy scalability for large numbers of devices and users
- Your application requires the ability to make its data and devices compatible with multiple standards
Examples of M2M
M2M communication also allows a great many modern businesses to do things like:-
- Gather valuable information about important processes
- Streamline and improve supply chains
- Pre-empt expensive maintenance and avoid costly mistakes
- Keep tabs on expensive assets
- Offer value ads and/or services that it wouldn’t be practical to offer without some level of M2M technology (think Apple’s find your phone service or AA’s ‘car genie’)
In fact, M2M is now so widespread that over 7 billion devices currently have some form of automated, M2M communication protocol.
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