IoT vs M2M: What's the Difference?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of so-called "smart devices," which are physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items that collect and exchange data, often using a cloud or middleware platform. Unlike smart phones, smart devices may not necessarily need a human’s input or report their findings. Some smart devices receive their information from other smart devices and act on their own according to their programming, using closed machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. IoT is usually considered to be a much broader term than the older M2M term, since it refers to the advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and covers a wider variety of protocols, domains, and applications.
Experts predict that the Internet of Things will have a huge economic impact: Gartner anticipates there will be 26 billion devices on the Internet by 2020 and McKinsey Global Institute predicts these devices will generate $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025. These big numbers signal big changes in the Internet as we know it as well as in development and testing.
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