M2M and the Internet of Things

Finding "Big Things" that use M2M or IoT technologies

Published on: 2015-02-05

A consultant working with GE on M2M and the Internet of Things with GE recently asked this question on Quora:
We are working with GE to explore the internet of things in industry - sort of the "internet of big things." We're looking for interesting cases where it has already gone from idea to in production?
Ironically, "big things" can often be the most hidden from view, since few people actually see them in use. That's true whether you're talking about "big" healthcare equipment like MRI machines, "big" industrial equipment like laser measuring systems or lathes, or even "big" construction equipment like earth movers and cranes.

One area where people can see them, though, is in the foodservice arena, since we all have to eat! In fact, the foodservice equipment and vending industries have probably done more "real" M2M or IoT work for "big" things than just about any others. Off of the top of my head, Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, Pepsi Social Vending System machines, Kraft/Intel Smart vending kiosks and f'real Food's interactive blender all use M2M features to centralize management of the devices, coordinate content, and provide interactive interfaces. Granted most of these devices are still in limited circulation right now, there's no doubt that future devices will have remote management built-in from the get-go, and add-on modules will enable M2M functionality for legacy dumb devices that aren't worth replacing outright (e.g. the 250K+ legacy soda vending machines in the US today).

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