What Is M2M (machine-to-machine)?

Machine-to-machine (M2M) is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables automated wired or wireless communication between mechanical or electronic devices. M2M allows networked machines to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.

M2M communication is often used for remote monitoring. In product restocking,for example, a vending machine can message the distributor when a particular item is running low. M2M communication is an important aspect of telemetry, warehouse management, remote control, robotics, traffic control, logistic services, supply chain mangement, fleet management and even telemedicine.

Key components of an M2M system include sensors, RFID, a Wi-Fi or cellular communications link and autonomic computing software programmed to interpret data and make decisions.