Arduino Goes M2M
A device that’s useful in a wide range of connected solutions is receiving an upgrade, allowing it to offer even more functionality for tinkerers, developers, or businesses.
Arduino, www.arduino.cc, is a type of programmable electronic board, based on open-source hardware and software. The platform is available to anyone who is interested in adding connected, interactive functionality to objects or environments. Arduino boards can be connected to a variety of sensors and can control devices such as lighting, motors, and actuators.
When using an Arduino board, the possibilities are limited only by the designer’s imagination. It allows a designer’s creativity to fly, creating a range of new ideas and products.
Recently, Telefónica, www.telefonica.com, and Arduino announced a new version of the Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield. This new offering provides remote monitoring capabilities for Arduino projects. The new Shield adds a GPRS/GSM connection to the hardware motherboard, which can then be connected via Telefónica’s M2M (machine-to-machine) communications service. Shields are boards that can be plugged on top of the Arduino to extend its capabilities.
With the Telefónica M2M service, users can manage their Arduino devices remotely using the BlueVia Website. BlueVia is Telefónica’s global application programming interface program. The service also gives users access to Telefónica M2M SIM cards, which will allow access to it from E.U. countries, the U.S., and most of South America.
The new shield was announced at Campus Party in Berlin, a global technology festival. In addition to the new remote monitoring capabilities, the new offering allows for “asynchronous” use, which means the Arduino can perform other tasks while the shield is communicating.
Monitoring devices remotely is a need for a wide variety of M2M applications. IMS Research, www.imsresearch.com, says the world market for remote monitoring services was worth more than $29 billion in 2011, which is equivalent to $2.4 billion in recurring monthly revenues across the year. Some of the markets for remote monitoring include alarms and security, remote video, fire detection, and PERS (personal emergency response services) devices.
While many Arduino devices are used for smaller-scale projects, the ability to remotely manage devices will provide additional functionality to developers. Who knows what the tinkerers will come up with.