From Academic Kids

M2M is a buzzword used to designate the concept of communications between a device containing some amount of data and another device that requires the use of that data. M2M is commonly translated as Machine-to-Machine or Man-to-Machine. The most common implementation of M2M is through telemetry systems.

In addition, M2M is used to signify the current movement within the telemetry space to bring the concept of remote data acquisition and control to a larger audience than previously possible. In the past, telemetry systems were the exclusive domain of very large well financed organizations. Large oil and gas companies and electric utilities, through the use of extensive customer built dedicated data networks, were a couple of the first organizations to extensively use telemetry. Also, NASA, in the 1960ís, used telemetry extensively to monitor the Apollo space craft in route to the moon.

However, with the advancement of technology, the improve capabilities and coverage of wireless cellular technologies (CDMA, GSM, Mobitex, etc.), and the drop in cost of satellite data services, telemetry has become more accessible. This accessibility is the core of M2M.

The key pieces of a typical M2M system include: 1) A device or group of devices capable of replying to requests for data contained within those devices or capable of transmitting data contained within those devices autonomously. 2) A communications link to connect the device or group of devices to a computer server or another device. 3) A database to store the data that has been retrieved from a device or group of devices. 4) A software agent, process, or interface by which the data can be analyzed, reported, and/or acted upon.

An example of M2M technology might be a set of devices that monitor traffic in a city and communicate the information to the city's traffic lights in order to regulate the flow of traffic. Another example is the previously mentioned use of M2M by NASA to monitor the Apollo space craft during missions to the moon and, more currently, to monitor Space Shuttle missions.

M2M is used in telemetry, data collection, remote control, robotics, remote monitoring, status tracking, road traffic control, offsite diagnostics and maintenance, security systems, logistic services, fleet management, and telemedicine.

Detailed examples:

Oil & Gas

  • A manufacturer of instrumentation for producing well sites may use M2M to enable its customers to remotely collect data on flow rates, pressures, temperatures, tank levels and equipment status as an alternative to manual, on-site data collection.
  • A manufacturer of injection pumps for producing wells may use M2M to give its customers a means to adjust the pump operation remotely in response to well and weather conditions as an alternative to on-site adjustment.


  • A manufacturer of machinery for preparing shipping packages may use M2M to remotely monitor its equipment to detect failures, to schedule optimal preventive maintenance, and to track consumption of packaging chemicals as an alternative to manual inspection by its field service technicians or the customer's equipment operators.


  • A system integrator may use M2M as part of a system to retrofit roadside signs with a means to remotely add federally emergency alerts and Amber Alerts to multiple signs at the same time as an alternative to manually programming signs on-site.


  • A system integrator may use M2M to collect data from remote diagnostic equipment in a patient's home (i.e., blood pressure, weight, glucose level) as an alternative to the patient visiting a medical facility or a medical paraprofessional visiting the patient in his home.

The abbreviation has also been used to stand for mobile-to-machine, machine-to-man, and machine-to-mobile.

Other Meanings

M2M, "Monument to Mankind" is a planned monument were one artist from each of the countries of the world is selected to sculpt a stone cube into a representation of his or her home country's culture. These cubes will then be placed on the terrasses of a very large stepped pyramid. This pyramid will possibly be the largest pyramid in the world when finished. Behind this project is the The Humanitad Peace Organization.

External link: The Humanitad Foundation (http://humanitad.org)

In addition, M2M is the name of a Norwegian pop music group duo comprised of two women, Marion Elise Ravn and Marit Elizabeth Larsen, with Atlantic Records and Warner Music as their label. The group had officially split since. The duo produced 2 albums, Shades of Purple and The Big Room, and a Greatest Hits (post-humous decision by record label) under the band name M2M and a Norweigian Children's album under their respective names (informally "Hubba Bubba").

On-line M2M also can mean male to male or man to man and usually implies same-sex male relationships.


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