Creating a Connected World

In addition to snow flurries across the country, this is also the time of year we are privy to a flurry of predictions from the analysts about what is to come in the year ahead. Not surprising, a number of reports have crossed my desk recently predicting 2014 will be the year of M2M and IoT (Internet of Things).

From IoT at the enterprise to wearables, the future of M2M is bright, according to many of these predictions. But I say, rather than just looking at these predictions, take a look also at the recent announcements in the world of M2M, as these tell an interesting story about what is to come as well.

One area I find particularly compelling is that OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) are making more announcements about adding connectivity to products. Consider specifically today’s licensing partnership announcement between M2M provider ioBridge and energy-management specialist Schneider Electric.

With the help of ioBridge, companies like Schneider Electric can easily create IoT offerings, ultimately providing both consumers and enterprises with products that are connected to the Internet. Robert Mawrey, CEO at ioBridge has some thoughts on the subject, saying this announcement signals a move toward “Internet of Small Things,” or a focus on little things that will ultimately have a much bigger impact.

That’s a great point and it underscores what really needs to happen to move M2M and IoT forward and highlights why the agreement between ioBridge and Schneider Electric is such a major step.

In my opinion, for M2M and IoT to gain even more momentum, many of the major OEMs need to add this type of connectivity to products. We are already seeing this start to happen, but still other OEMs need to get on board as well. The good news is as price points continue to come down, it seems more global manufacturing is looking at the Internet of Things.

Another announcement comes to mind that also signals more interest in M2M and IoT in the manufacturing world. Back in November, Ayla Networks and Murata Americas announced a partnership to enable manufacturers to bring connected devices to market quickly. Murata Americas is producing intelligent Wi-Fi modules containing the Ayla Embedded Agent Software, and when integrated by manufacturers into their products, these modules can turn industrial, household, and consumer products into connected devices.

As these types of partnerships continue to develop, we will likely seem more “things” connected to the Internet, which will ultimately propel M2M forward and help to create a more connected world.