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Machine-to-Machine: Reinventing Embedded Devices for Smart Services

By Intel® Corporation Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is quietly reshaping the way we live, though most people don’t realize it’s even happening. And that’s the way it should be. Kevin D. Johnson Director, Connected Platforms / M2M Technologies Intelligent Systems Group, Intel Corporation In a modern home, why should average consumers have to know how their new washer and dryer maintain themselves or alert the manufacturer for a service call? All is done automatically. But the question we should be asking is… Are today’s connected devices fully enabled for the rise of new embedded smart services? That is, services that can add new value over time, evolve to new uses, or become an integral part of your everyday home life. The answer today is likely not. This is because current devices, like consumer appliance white goods for example, can’t be easily upgraded in the field to host future services, like downloading new wash cycle options, sending maintenance information, or even sending promotion information to the active display – all tied into the modern ‘smart’ home infrastructure. A change is underway… Embedded design is being challenged to change forever. Although it was never hip to be a fixed function embedded device, it will soon be out of vogue and mediocre. Imagine sending an email to someone every day and never hearing back. Many of today’s dumb devices will generate the same frustration in the coming years. Just as the demand for information services catapulted the Internet, the same factors are driving the embedded Internet and requiring smarter devices to play a larger role in delivering intelligent services. This also enables financial gain for innovators and services providers utilizing the ‘smart’ devices of the future for ever increasingly smart services. Connecting the “Internet of Things” One of the great enablers for the Internet is the proven path to market for entrepreneurs creating an application. Language and protocol standards are in place enabling applications to run on any server and eliminating the need to build and certify a hardware platform because of the standardized hardware and software environment (HTTP, APIs, standard PC peripherals, etc). In comparison, the value chain for the “Internet of Things” is highly fragmented and proprietary today. Deploying a new service on a typical set of embedded devices requires the coordination of many hardware, software, supply chain, and service provider players. This is complex, costly and difficult for a services innovator who only desires to write and run the applications creating the tangible value. The pace of innovation in the machine-to- machine trend hinges on the availability of standards-based platforms that let developers do what they do best, write and deploy new services, instead of designing devices and worrying about the complexity of them working together. As a result of this ideal state, these platforms must have computing and connectivity headroom and flexibility to take on new workloads in support of next generation service models, otherwise they’ll be relegated to fixed-function, non-intelligent embedded devices, which is the condition of current Read the full Machine-to-Machine: Reinventing Embedded Devices for Smart Services.

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