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Intel: M2M should be common thread among embedded devices

Intel: M2M should be common thread among embedded devices

Posting in Architecture

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) needs to be a common platform to connect all embedded devices, Intel and Wind River executives say.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Machine-to-Machine (M2M) needs to start becoming the common thread and foundation among all embedded devices, argued reps from Intel and Wind River during Intel's Software Media Day on Thursday.

Intel executives reported multiple estimates for the number of connected devices we'll see by 2020, averaging between 25 million and 50 million.

Renu Navale, a strategic planner at Intel, posited that we are entering the "fourth wave" of computing in which embedded devices are making life, easier, more productive and more enjoyable.

"It's become clear to us that embedded [technology] is all around us," said Navale, citing examples ranging from medical to point-of-sale machines.

Navale asserted that there are three foundational capabilities required of all embedded devices: connectivity, security and manageability. She argued that M2M technology is the key to managing and ensuring the success of these devices.

"In order to deliver these embedded systems, you still need a complete Intel architecture," she said, "and that can only be delivered with software, operating systems and an ecosystem set up around it."

Brian Vezza, director of M2M solutions at Wind River, argued that M2M itself means being "smart." Examples of everyday devices that use M2M range from PCs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles to telematics and industrial purposes.

Vezza outlined three reasons why everyone should care about M2M: situational awareness, time-to-market and development efficiency, and enhanced productivity.

More specifically, M2M could help businesses make smarter decisions, reduce costs, improve service to customers, as well as improve safety, security, processes and work flows.

But awareness of M2M could be considered the primary challenge, mostly due to the terminology and lack of understanding about how M2M works.

"It can be challenging for people who haven’t been involved in M2M in the past to adapt this technology," Vezza said, "It won’t be difficult in the future."

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Rachel King

Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet. Previously she worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. She is based in San Francisco.