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Are you ready for the internet of things?

Are you ready for the M2M revolution?

5/20/2013

The world has come a long way in terms of technology in the past few years. It wasn't even too long ago that phones didn't connect to the internet, but now these capabilities are starting to be used in a number of exciting (and pretty futuristic) ways. People might be familiar with talking on their phones, but the next big thing is letting these tools do the talking.

M2M everywhere
According to The Boston Globe, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which allows internet-connected objects to communicate with one another, may not be familiar to many consumers quite yet, but it's likely to be a part of daily life in the near future. For example, the source explained that there could come a time when a simple email could trigger a series of events throughout a home. When a co-worker sends an email about a canceled early morning meeting, an alarm clock could also get the message, delaying its wake-up call for a few extra minutes. From there, the coffee maker could recalibrate to start brewing at exactly the changed time and the car would also get prepared to warm itself up when necessary.

Bill Zujewski, chief marketing officer at Axeda Corp., told the news provider that while these technologies used to be reserved for use in bigger companies, they're beginning to be used in other ways as well. Consumers totally involved yet, but Zujewski noted that they could make up a huge market for M2M. 

"Right now, you go and buy a refrigerator and that is it. This is a way for the maker to engage with that customer by sending them information," stated Mark Winther, group vice president at International Data Corp. "For example, your washing machine could alert you that because you have heavy water, you should use a different kind of detergent."

Technology research firm Gartner also predicts that within the next five years, the "internet of things" (another term referring to M2M) will take hold. The organization pointed out that advancements are currently being driven by consumer desires for integrated sensors, image recognition, near field communication and more. 

For the general public, it's an exciting time. We're getting closer to truly living in the kind of world old sci-fi novels imagined (minus the hovercars, unfortunately). But it's important to recognize, too, that the smartphones of today are amazing on their own - without having one in working order, many people end up feeling lost. So as we head toward the reality of the internet of things, maybe it's time to stop and appreciate the gadgets we have by truly safeguarding them. Cell phone insurance alone can't do that - it takes a real protection plan.

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