The Connected Effect

Wireless Gotchas! Number Two: Global Connectivity

Posted by Bill Zujewski

Oct 21, 2013 11:34:00 AM

By Bill Zujewski

This is the fourth post in a multi-part series, which specifically explores the challenges of dealing with wireless technology as part of an M2M (Machine-To-Machine) initiative. The series will offer insights to help designers and developers prepare for and overcome the unique challenges involved with implementation. Today’s post will focus on global connectivity.

The Internet of Things is a global phenomenon that's not slowing down - it's really just picking up speed, with impact just starting to materialize. Many of the leading connected productmanufacturers build, deploy, and support connected assets all around the world, and combined with wireless, M2M technology goes a long way in helping organizations expand their M2M initiatives across international borders.

Global Connectivity
International connectivity isn't necessarily
difficult to establish, as most carriers offer
a version of Global SIM.

International wireless connectivity isn’t necessarily difficult to establish, as most carriers offer a version of a global SIM. The challenge is that global M2M connectivity adds layers of complexity and significant additional considerations that connected businesses need to juggle – or they risk setbacks and disruptions in service.

Some of these challenges include:

  • Ensuring compatibility with various networks or carriers: An asset in Germany will rely on a different network than one in India. Manufacturers need to ensure their machines can connect to different networks in different regions – something that becomes even more difficult for mobile assets (e.g. shipping containers) that need to connect to various networks as they move throughout different regions. Otherwise, businesses risk losing sight of and access to their machines.
  • Managing economics: Rates from carrier to carrier vary greatly, so businesses need to do their due diligence to ensure their connectivity will be affordable, especially for mobile assets that rely on more than one network. Without proper research and planning, connectivity costs could unexpectedly skyrocket.
     
  • Ensuring reliability: Don’t assume you’ll have connectivity in all parts of the world. In many areas, even wired connectivity is not guaranteed. Manufacturers need to understand where their connectivity may be at risk, and which wireless methods are the best options. Downtime doesn't just halt productivity -- it can literally cripple profitability.


For an effective international M2M initiative that doesn’t break the budget or risk service, flexibility is key. Manufacturers should design an architecture that is carrier, device, and SIM management agnostic – so that machines can smoothly rely on different networks and communication devices anywhere in the world.

Topics: wireless, IoT, Machine Cloud, Internet of Things, AT&T, Wireless Gotchas, blog

The Machine of the Future

Posted by Bill Zujewski

May 13, 2013 2:54:00 PM

Bill Zujewski, AxedaThere’s no doubt machines are becoming more and more sophisticated and intelligent.   During my keynote at our Connexion event last week, I discussed how machines have evolved the past few decades. Fifty years ago, machines were still mostly mechanical. It wasn’t until the past few decades that software became a major component of machines. Today, product design is just as much about software design as it is hardware design.   

Network connectivity also began to make its way into machines the past couple of decades.   Recently, we’ve seen remote connectivity being designed into the machine natively. Although the connectivity was typically put in place for diagnostics and remote service, it has enabled machine data to be used in many innovative ways including usage analytics, business system integration and new end-user apps.

So what’s next?   Here at Axeda, we’ve identified 9 major characteristics we will see in the machines of the future.  A couple of these are already in most machines… they are 1) Connected and 2) Remotely Serviceable.   Many now have GPS or some other means to locate them, making them 3) Trackable. The machine data will be available via an agent or gateway that will collect and send data and enable machines to be 4) Informative 5) Self-Healing and 6) Integrated with business systems. This machine data is also being made available via APIs enable them to be 7) App Centric. The green movement will drive machines to be 8) Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient. Lastly, machines will become part of larger systems and be 9) Collaborative.

GE calls it the Industrial Internet with brilliant machines. The Analysts often refer to it as the Internet of Things or Machine-To-Machine with intelligent systems or smart devices.  Regardless of what we label this macro trend, most agree we are in the first inning of a new “connected world” order.  The machine will be at the heart of it and I welcome the machine of the future… healthy, wise, well-spoken, green and social! Here at Axeda, we are working hard to connect these machines to Axeda’s Machine Cloud… to unleash all that machine data and unlock all the value.

Topics: Machine Cloud, Machine Data, Machine of the Future, Connexion

Instant M2M Innovation…Just Add Caffeine

Posted by Dan Murphy

Jan 7, 2013 1:10:00 PM

challangeI had the opportunity to attend my first AT&T Developer Hackathon this weekend in Las Vegas as part of the AT&T Developer Summit. If you’ve never been to a Hackathon, you can picture it as the geek’s version of the Warrior Dash or the Spartan Race. But instead of mud covered runners and obstacle courses, the hackathon contestants are caffeine infused teams of innovators building killer applications with the latest technologies including the Axeda Machine Cloud and the AT&T mobile network.

It’s amazing what these teams built in less than 24 hours. In the machine-to-machine (M2M) category there was a home security app that involved a rocket launcher, a carbon monoxide detection system that incorporated social media to alert friends nearby who can help in an emergency, and a brain wave monitor that connected to your mobile phone to route calls based on your mood or level of activity. Some were fun, some were cool, but all of them were interesting and innovative.  

AT&T Developer HackathonSo, all you weekend warriors out there, next time you’re looking to unleash your inner beast, may I suggest exercising your brain rather than your legs. Not only will you be less sore on Monday, you may be a little richer. The winner of the latest Warrior Dash jumped fire and ended up covered in mud. The Best Overall winning team at the AT&T Hackathon walked away with a cool $30K. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

Jump start your hacking skills at Axeda Developer Connection and stay tuned for more information on all the winning M2M applications!


Topics: Axeda Platform; wireless, M2M, Machine Cloud, AT&T Developer Hackathon

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