What's the difference between M2M & the internet of things?

5 minutes

Once a trend, now a reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world in which we ...

By Ahmed Jamal Khan

Account Director

Once a trend, now a reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world in which we live. However, buzzwords can lead to confusion. So, is IoT and M2M the same thing? What is the difference between them? This question has been tackled by many professionals within the industry. Some use both terms interchangeably, whereas others are adamant that they are not to be confused.

First of all, we can be certain that these two concepts, do indeed, mean different things.

M2M does not pinpoint specific wireless or wired networking. Simply put, M2M is where “machines” use network resources to communicate with remote application infrastructure for the purposes of monitoring and control, either of the “machine” itself, or the surrounding environment.

The interconnection of smart objects and the way we interact with the environment is what “The Internet

of Things” is envisioned to be.

Let the physical world merge with the digital world…

To explain the relationship between both concepts, M2M is what provides The Internet of Things with the connectivity that enables capabilities to extract and use meaningful information.

An example of IoT; when a fire alarm goes off in your home it just beeps, instead of talking to your gas appliances to shut them off and making sure you wake up with an alert sent to your household phones.

M2M would be the connection between the different devices, the fire alarm, gas appliance and phone, whilst IoT is the use of these connections to provide an actual solution.

So, you can see how M2M is considered an integral part of IoT and how the meanings of the two concepts sometimes become blurred.

In conclusion, M2M can be understood from a more vertical and closed point of view, whilst IoT encompasses a horizontal and meaningful approach where vertical applications are pulled together to address to provide solutions, whether they be to industry, people or the environment.

There’s been much debate around the privacy implications of IoT. Do you think the positive outweighs the negative? What examples of IoT have you seen in action already?

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