What is IoT? And M2M ? Can we swap them?

The IoT is a great acronym. It doesn’t mean anything as a word. Eye Ow Tee. Still, telecom companies are fighting new wars on this new ground. They are invisible wars, because the common guy still has no idea what is at stake. Come on guys, it is about the future of the world, the super, mega, automated and interactive world of science-fiction movies. R2D2 meets Robocop.

The “I” comes from internet. Really ? Internet is about web browsers and PCs. No way, this is wrong. So wrong that only 10 percent of the data traffic is web data. Only 10 percent ? How could that be ? First, most of the traffic is binary: movies, music, pictures, business data. We are far from the beginning back in the early 90’s.

The “o” stands for of. Made of. Connection. Communicate. Transfer. Data. Still, the letter cannot do justice to a notion so profound that we talk about it without giving much thought. Let’s just stop here for the moment. More to come in a jiffy.

As for the “T”, well, it is for things. Bad name. Bad name. John McClane meets Simon Gruber. In fact we are talking about intelligent things. Software. Hardware. Machines.

So what is this IoT thing about ? It is a metaphor about machines communicating with other machines. In a word, just like Matrix. Wait, in that movie it was about intelligent software. Well, the “T” refers not only to a piece of hardware, but also to some software running inside it. Could this be possible ? Why not? As a matter of fact, such things have existed for the past fifty years. Fifty years ? No way. Yes way! Just think about the railroad crossing signs that magically start blinking when a train nears by.

Old stuff. Classic stuff. Buzzword. Does it sound familiar ? It surely does. The telecom giants will not reinvent the wheel. Why bother to do it when they can simply resell it? Now IoT seems less of a magic word an more like a marketing propaganda.

What about M2M ? “Em”, “Too”, “Em”. Well, in order to close a sale one must repeat the word till the customer takes the wallet out of his pocket.

The first “M” stands for machine. It is a misconception. In reality it stands for “mobile”. To be more precise, it stands for “SIM chip inside a moving device”. Is it difficult to read that phrase? Yeah, so I thought. Much easier with the letter. The figure “2” is a classic abbreviation meaning “to” or “from … to”. Like so many buzzwords like B2B, P2P, C2C, B2B2C and so on. It is sexy. The customers like it. As for the second “M”, it has the same meaning like the first one.

Basically, M2M is a way to make one SIM card communicate with another. of course, the salesman will come and say that it is not true, that you have many benefits, gains, profits, and so on. But still, M2M is just two phones in the middle of call, except that there are no people.

What about comparing IoT with M2M. Well, here comes the misconception. The IoT is as abstract as the Matrix was pervasive. The M2M, on the other side, is valid only under coverage by the telecom company. So, technically speaking, IoT is not M2M. What about putting SIMs into a satellite telephone ? Now we are talking business. The IoT includes M2M and this is where the companies make mistakes. Some guy has estimated the number of IoT devices to be 50 billion by 2020. He was very conservative. Between 2013 and 2020, the creative people called inventors will put on market so much new things that 50 will be replaced by 500.

We live in an ever evolving world. One thing is sure: there will be much talk about IoT, much more about M2M and this will make bloggers happy.


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