M2M Brings New Value to Manufacturers

As products become smarter and more connected to each other, so manufacturers are finding new ways to wring out the benefits.

In Miami, Florida this week the M2M Evolution Conference and Expo focused on new technologies and business opportuinities—as well as possible new regulatory policies—in the wake of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) communication.

Here are a few key takeaways from three of the most insightful presentations and panel discussions of the week.

1. Unlocking Your Business Value: Leveraging Java on Devices – Peter Utzschneider, Oracle’s vice president of product management, explains the full potential of the IoT and how to capitalize on it.

  • Responsiveness: The ability to take automated and real-time action is key to creating value and competitive differentiation. This requires pushing real-time processing of data down to the device level, and not surprisingly Oracle’s Java—embedded in a product—enables this.
  • Services: Value added services are the prize at the end of the IoT, and software is the new enabler of value and services in products. This requires a shift towards application development platforms for products to enable after-sales software upgrades and enhancements.
  • Maturity: As the market matures there will be a shift from individual things connected to the Internet, to many-to-many device connectivity in a mesh network. As IoT solutions mature, the amount of data a device generates will drop as things learn and deliver only what is needed.

2. Special Analyst Panel – Industry analysts provide perspective on the real M2M market opportunity.

  • Big Data: In the M2M world, Big Data is not so big. Most companies are in beta mode because they need to get comfortable with large volumes of information and learn how to integrate M2M data into existing business systems.
  • Value: Many companies are unclear about the value of collecting data, or even what data they should be collecting. Today, companies are in “NSA” mode, collecting and storing everything. Defining value will force companies to make decisions about what data to collect and analyze.

3. Big Data and Medical Machines – Author Daniel Obodovski and Eurotech product manager Kurt Hochanadel address how Big Data and M2M in the medical profession could lead to better care and diagnostics.

  • Consumerization of healthcare: Wearables can deliver immediate “health” value to consumers, primarily because they don’t need to be connected to complex systems or networks, e.g. EMR. More than 4% of the population is already using some sort of wearable device and mainstream adoption is gaining momentum – open standards will help to speed up adoption.
  • Business models: Today’s model is to sell hardware and rapidly increase the install base. Eventually hardware will become a commodity and all the value will come from the applications built on the data. Many will pursue a freemium model for value added services or aggregate and sell the data to third parties, e.g. insurance companies.
  • Data privacy/security: There’s a huge opportunity for medical and insurance providers to leverage wearable device data. This is the human version of the Progressive Insurance “Snapshot” device that defines car insurance rates on driving habits. These healthcare partnerships will force HIPAA and FDA regulations on the data and devices.

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