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Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Technology: Empowering Entrepreneurs

Posted December 17, 2013 in Business, New Technology, Technology Trends by 0

Within the business world, there can be many barriers to entry against entrepreneurs looking to enter a market. But every now and then a new technology will emerge that has the potential to disrupt markets and create many new business opportunities.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is poised to disrupt a multitude of industries across the globe and create an abundance of opportunities for those who can see beyond the status quo. To put this claim into perspective, consider that within five years, the M2M market is expected to grow from $1.4B in 2011 to $25.9B in 2016. With M2M technology, a limitless array of connected objects and devices can now accomplish a wide range of tasks.

In order to take advantage of the opportunities M2M presents, entrepreneurs need to look beyond the “how” and instead think of “what-if” to find novel solutions to complex business problems. Let’s have a look at just a few of the possible market opportunities from M2M technology in three different industries:

Construction
With M2M, everything that can be connected will be connected. Future buildings are no exception. In an age of smart grids, buildings are being equipped with thousands of sensors to monitor, control and optimize everything. There’s tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to reinvent traditional products like connected plugs, light switches and heating/cooling vents that can make predictive “decisions” by anticipating energy needs without human intervention.

For example, imagine a building where the security cameras detect low foot traffic via infrared sensors and automatically send a message to the heating and ventilation (HVAC) system to decrease heat or air conditioning. This type of real-time messaging from one system to another can help optimize energy usage.

Transportation
The transportation industry is also rich with M2M opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs. For instance, app developers could create smartphone apps for vehicles with wireless connections to remotely monitor and control fuel consumption, locate gas stations or pre-heat a car based on past usage.

Wireless-enabled fleet management could help taxi, trucking and logistics companies cut the number of empty or underutilized vehicles on the road. New cloud-based services could be created to improve fleet management and reduce fuel costs from idle use. Management would then be able to receive instant notifications when a vehicle leaves or arrives at a location and remotely access a vehicle’s current speed, engine idle state, location and destination.

Agriculture
According to Statistics Canada, there are about 230,000 farms in Canada and a rising demand for food that puts upward pressure on all food input costs. These facts illustrate novel opportunities for M2M solutions in the agriculture industry, especially for raw materials and energy. Connected devices can help maximize production efficiency and yield to improve a grower’s profit margins.

For example, entrepreneurs could build auto-pilot tractors that automate planting and plowing solutions to reduce labour costs, fuel and waste. Furthermore, wireless integration of farm vehicles with farm management software could integrate important factors such as tractor usage and crop yield information.

The bottom line
Within any industry, M2M devices and services share commonalities. They all collect data, and turn that data into actionable insights or automated responses. As an entrepreneur, think of how M2M can solve current business problems and make businesses operate better.

What kind of industry are you in? How do you think M2M technology will change your business? Let us know via the comments section below.

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