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Machine-to-Machine Solutions Week in Review

December 07, 2013

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

As machines learn to better communicate with other machines, the machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions market grows in terms of new products and new solutions being offered within the same. That's bringing in a host of new developments, and leaving plenty to keep track of. With a weekend now at hand, it's a good time to take a step back and consider the larger implications of the week that was, which is just what we'll do with our Week in Review coverage.

First, we had a look at how service providers could better work with the connected car concept. While the idea of a connected car goes back to the 1980s and even beyond, it requires no small amount of work and resources to make such a car happen. That's becoming clearer thanks to things like AT&T (News - Alert) working with General Motors to put 4G LTE service in cars, which in turn is opening up plenty of potential for other service providers to do likewise, and provide a host of functions accordingly.

Next we checked out the GenSensr from SeeControl, which promised software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) tracking as well as monitoring services for generator systems. Intended as a means to monitor generators, particularly those on a lease or a rental arrangement, GenSensr can track things like oil pressure, total hours run, coolant levels, and plenty more remotely, helping to ensure that the backup power generator is at its optimal health and running potential.

SkyWave and MCN brought in the next bit of news, getting together in a bid to increase applications for satellite communications with the IsatData Pro system. Satellite connectivity is often regarded as one great way to improve M2M functionality in remote locations, thanks to its ability to work nearly anywhere and the comparatively low bandwidth needed to operate such systems. IsatData Pro looks to provide data to M2M applications, as well as to the complete SkyWave terminal line with not only a high overall payload, but also very low latency for better, faster communications.

Then, a report from ABI Research (News - Alert) showed us the stakes in the smart thermostat market, as a new reports suggested that global revenue for such devices would reach $600 million by just 2018. That's set to grow fully five-fold from current levels, with a variety of firms in the field providing an array of options for users. Firms like Nest Labs and EcoFator are already showing great progress, and that's bringing other devices into the field as well, each out for a slice of a steadily-growing market pie.

Finally, we discovered that when it came to commercial fleet telematics systems, one of the biggest new players comes from an unexpected direction: consumer-grade, off-the-shelf smartphones. While in the past, telematics solutions were built directly into vehicles, that approach eventually proved inflexible in a time when flexibility was called for. But the growth of the smartphone market quickly showed new promise, and now, consumer smartphone platforms will be an increasingly large part of commercial fleet telematics; an ABI Research report suggests the number will be around one in three.

That was the week that was in machine-to-machine solutions, and there was plenty happening this week to go over. Our global online community worked diligently to keep abreast of the latest news, and had plenty to bring back from the field. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest in the sector, as well as every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!

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