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What makes the IoT different from Machine to Machine (M2M) communication technology?

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • May 09, 2023
  • RFID
What makes the IoT different from Machine to Machine (M2M) communication technology

Internet of things has become a quite prevalent technological means that is making everything smart. Since the word IoT was first coined in 1999, internet of things now connects 15B devices across the world and by 2030, the no. of IoT devices is predicted to be 29B. If that is not a significant, exponential growth then what is? 

Machine to Machine or M2M is a technology that simply means communication between machines without human input. Two devices communicating to each other and no internet is involved. Machine to machine communication is point to point and has been in existence since 1970s when a Greek scientist named Theodore Paraskevakos invented Caller ID in telephone, automatically sending the caller’s details to the machine being called.  This was way before Kevin Ashton coined the term IoT in 1999.

Although, in the world of technology, the two terms IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) are often used interchangeably as they share some similarities, they are distinct concepts with their own unique features.

IoT and M2M technologies: What’s the difference?

IoT is the network of physical objects embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies to connect and share data with multiple devices over the internet. M2M (Machine to Machine) stands for direct communication between devices using wired or wireless communications channels without any human interaction.

The key difference between IoT and M2M is that IoT connects any device to the Internet for better performance, while M2M is the connection of two or more devices with the Internet for data sharing and analytics. Another difference is that an M2M system uses point-to-point communication, while an IoT system typically places its devices within a cloud network that allows larger-scale integration and more sophisticated applications.

Essentially, M2M communication is done from one machine to another. M2M Technology enables devices on a network to make autonomous decisions without requiring manual actions. 

The machine-to-machine technology is designed to catch sensor data and send it to a network. The core components of an M2M include Wi-Fi or cellular network, sensors, and a computer application designed to interpret that data automatic decision making. These M2M applications translate the data, which can trigger preprogrammed, automated actions as well.

Here are few distinct features that differentiate IoT and M2M:

1. Connection type used

 IoT connection is via Network and using various communication types, while M2M connection is point-to-point.

2. Data Sharing

IoT shares data between other applications while M2M shares data with only the communicating parties, the machines.

3. Need of Internet connectivity 

IoT requires an Internet connection for communication, while M2M devices are not dependent on the Internet.

4. Communication method

The IoT technology supports wireless, network and cloud communication over the internet while M2M technology works on point-to-point communication between two machines. It could be wireless or wired.

5. Communication Requirements

IoT technology involves the usage of both Hardware and Software applications while M2M is mostly hardware-based technology.

Applications of M2M and IoT technologies 

Some examples of Machine to Machine communication include utility companies using M2M communication for the objective of bringing in power products and invoicing consumers, traffic control systems, telemedicine, security in businesses, telemetry, and supply chain and inventory management . Another example is a vending machine that automatically sends out information about its inventory to dispatchers. That’s pretty legit. 

IoT, on the other hand, has become more prevalent and offers much more applications that M2M technology. From Smart cars which can sense your presence and open the car doors for you and smart access control, to smart shelves and shopping carts in grocery stores, IoT is everywhere, thus more visible.

At present Machine to Machine communications is only a subset of internet of things and essentially means communication between devices without human interference, without the internet but M2M formed the basis of IoT technology. 

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on May 08, 2023
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