There are now more objects connected to the internet than people on earth.
How can this unimaginably immense quantity be transformed into a significant, concrete figure that could be useful to us?
What are connected things and connections with things called?
They’re called Machine to Machine, best known under the abbreviation M2M, a short name describing a group of technologies that allow wireless and wired systems to communicate with one another. M2M is part of the structured global scenario now known as IoT: the Internet of Things.
We’re talking about Smart Cities, Smart Cars, Smart Homes, Smart Health, Smart Fitness and Wellness, a list of essential elements of our existence, each preceded by a seemingly simple word with a vast range of meanings... smart.
What are the most connected things in Italy?
The mobile technology is the prevalent type of connection: at the beginning of 2013 there were 6 million objects in the country connected via SIM M2M technology, and they are growing at double-digit rates every year.
When we say 6 million objects connected via mobile network, just what kind of object are we talking about? They could be remote-controlled washing machines or heating systems with sensors that send us a text message when turned on.
Yet, the most connected objects in Italy today are actually streetlights, automobiles, lifts and gambling machines!
The fastest-growing part of the Italian market today is the smart car market, with more than 2.5 million vehicles connected. 95% of these are cars with a GPS/GPRS box with applications for localisation and recording driving parameters, partly in order to protect the driver and therefore for insurance purposes.
From M2M to C2C
We have seen that the fastest-growing M2M market is for automotive applications. A revolution is underway in this field, linked not only with connections between SIMs and cars but between different cars: Car to Car or C2C. These services allowing cars to "talk" to each other work for us, informing us what is going on outside our field of vision. Imagine how traffic flows could determine the colour of traffic lights using the sensors in such vehicles. Some of the cars we drive are made by manufacturers who are already working for us, to help us participate actively in this revolution that will make the 7%* of every day that we spend in the car more useful to us.
From C2C to Smart Cities
Let us attempt to fit an intensified version of this scenario with its wealth of opportunities into the bigger picture, going back to our starting point, the Internet of Things, and the list of the things in our lives that have the word smart before them.
Let's imagine we are in a car with a gps system giving us directions (m2m). Now, let us add a second level of complexity, imagining that our car can automatically communicate with a second vehicle that is approaching us at excessive speed (c2c). Lastly, let us set this scene in an “intelligent” context that would, for instance, turn on a light near the vehicle that is travelling towards us at excess speed.
This is the future, intelligent mobility and Smart Cities, the ones we are already working on to make them ours, and above all yours, thanks to the Agenda Digitale Italiana package we have chosen to believe in, and to invest in.
*Business Intelligence Average Daily Time spent per person (aged 25-54)