They’re in vending machines, parking meters, home security systems, and even healthcare devices for the elderly. They are wireless sensors, a key component of the burgeoning machine-to-machine (M2M) industry where devices use wired and wireless connections to communicate with each other. Though far from new, M2M technology is expanding its reach at a dramatic rate.
M2M connections will grow to 2.1 billion by 2021, up from roughly 100 million last year, according to research firm Analysis Mason. The dramatic growth of global smartphone usage is a major factor in M2M’s popularity, of course, as are industrial applications in the transportation, emergency services, security, and retail sectors.