Tag Archives: Machine to Machine communications

Telefónica: new M2M innovations

Telefónica Digital has unveiled some of the innovations its researchers have been working on in the field of Machine to Machine (M2M) communications. It’s latest concept “Thinking Things” connects almost all devices wirelessly to the internet, enabling physical objects to be controlled remotely via a web page.

The Thinking Things concept exists of a physical module containing core communications and logic, energy via a battery or AC module, and a variety of sensors and actuators.

According to Telefónica, modules are connected together and then connected to the device they will control. The company gave the example of plugging in modules into a lamp to enable remote control of home lighting. Once connected, a new web page is created for the new device providing web-based access to control the functions of the physical modules.

All the web functions are offered through an API, so developers can build their own applications on top of the platform. The final element of Thinking Things will be a data services ecosystem. This will offer access to metadata from Telefónica’s network, leading to the development of tailored services and the ability to commercialise them.


Smart Cars

Machine to Machine (M2M) communications, and especially “Smart Cars” can improve accident prevention. The McGill Univesity (Montréal, Québec, Canada) has developed a pilot in collaboration with Libelium (Spin Off company from the University of Zaragoza, Spain) to handle remote controlled cars to lower the number of car accidents caused by human error.

On average, road traffic accidents are one of the most important causes of death on a global scale. It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that 150,000 people will be killed by 2020. The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles on the world’s roads (currently around 2 billion). The development of technology that enhances safety is therefore essential.

The advantage of Smart Cars, or even “driverless cars”, are their benefits beyond safety. They could drop someone off and then park themselves. Moreover, they would reduce the stress of driving, allowing their occupants to read, work or to get distracted. Some studies carried out by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reveal that by 2040, driverless cars will account for up to 75 per cent of cars on the road worldwide.

The Smart Cars are expected to be completely developed within a few years from now. Please click on the image above to get a better understanding of how the smart cars work. While technology proves to enhance road safety, there are issues around people’s confidence in technology to hand over total control.

Besides the Smart Cars concept, Libelium is also involved in Vehicle Traffic Monitoring to monitor vehicular and pedestrian traffic in cities. The university’s Spin Off offers a platform that is capable of sensing the flow of Bluetooth devices in a given street, roadway or passageway and has the ability to differentiate hands-free car kits from pedestrian phones. With the use of an internet gateway, sensor data is transferred to a server. As a result, traffic measurements can be analysed to address congestion of either vehicle or pedestrian traffic. A very useful tool for city managers.

Machine to Machine communications will prove to become increasingly important in the near future. This form of the Internet of Things, will allow us to learn more of the environment we live in.