Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology has been humming along just fine for several years with little fanfare.
Communication between devices without the need for human interaction or control is likely something you would experience indirectly on a daily basis. Most traffic lights are controlled by M2M software to detect flow and volume. Utility meters on homes are operated by M2M. And even that vending machine at work uses M2M to signal when a particular item is running low.
But the industry is expanding rapidly. Further advancement allows for more diversification, flexibility and customization.
Agriculture has long been targeted as a prime industry in which M2M technology could expand and provide farmers the ability to steadily improve their growth and operations with more efficiency.
Data collected from sensors is made available through an app on a farmer’s cellphone and can reveal to a farmer all kinds of useful information – moisture in the ground, crop yields, growing conditions and weather patterns.
We’ve already seen great headway in this industry by way of irrigation control to insect and pest detection, to soil moisture and weather pattern predictability.
Welcome to farming and agriculture practices of the 21st century.
What’s more, there’s a demand today for smarter and more efficient farming and agriculture practices given the rising costs of fresh produce and a surge of competition globally. Farmers want to maximize their production while minimizing costs.
Mobile technology is leading that charge, one that is sweeping the globe.
Close to 470 mobile providers offer cellular M2M technology to 190 countries. There are close to 150 million cellular M2M users worldwide, with more growth seen in China and in developing countries like India and Brazil.
Wholesale M2M sales in South Africa sits at $3.85 billion CAN and is expected to grow to $13.2 billion CAN next year.