Pet Peeves and M2M

Carl Weinschenk

I'm an easy-going fellow with few pet peeves. Among the few I do have are people who don't drive at the right speed (i.e., slower or faster than me), folks who take too long to order their coffee in the morning, people who hang up without saying "sorry" when they dial a wrong number and autodialers that call me and then put me on hold until the customer service rep gets on the line.

OK, I guess I do have my share of pet peeves. Perhaps the greatest of these is automatic sprinkler systems that are programmed to start running regardless of conditions. Driving in the morning and seeing a sprinkler wasting precious water after a night of heavy rain turns me into a character from a Stephen King novel. (Actually, I've never read one - things that are gratuitously frightening - King novels, roller coasters, college tuition notices, etc. - are another pet peeve. Life is scary enough without adding extras.)

The sprinkler problem, at least, may be coming to an end. Constructech reports that Hydropoint uses machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors - though they are not identified as M2M in the story - to gauge the atmospheric conditions and react accordingly.

All flippancy aside, M2M offers many similar small ways in which the world can be improved. Others are described at Connected World, which cites Blueforce's Tactical platform. Available on Verizon Wireless, it provides "last mile tactical" procedures, critical infrastructure protection and contingency operations after a "disruptive event, such as a natural disaster," according to the story.

At TMCnet, Paula Bernier describes a how bicyclists participating in the Journey of Hope, a cross-country bike ride to raise money for the disabled, are using OnAsset's Sentry 400 GPS tracking technology. The technology uses M2M and other technologies, to track each other and to be tracked by friends and family.

That's a specialized use of what could be a generally beneficial application. Bernier sees this as the tip of the iceberg:

Of course, this is just one example of how M2M can figure into people and asset tracking solutions. Other examples can be found in the health care (monitoring patients in their homes), real estate (tracking the activity on a lockbox) and pharmaceutical (checking the condition of medication en route) industries, to name just a few.

Another pet peeve, albeit a minor one, is the issuance of press releases that don't announce anything. Sprint did that this week. In this instance, however, it's OK since it's useful to my post. The release offers a couple of good examples of health care-related firms with which the company works - American TeleCare and Reflection Solutions - that use a variety of technologies, including M2M.

The ways in which M2M technology helps people can only be limited by the imagination. The technology can improve safety and health, save time and cut costs. Techology ecosystems that don't try to do those things, by the way, is a another pet peeve of mine.

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