How M2M and Wireless Technology Can Improve Public Safety Communications

Written by KOVA Corp

Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology allows machines to talk to each other (send data) through wired or wireless communications, and new applications for M2M, utilizing advances in wireless technology, continue to grow in a wide range of industries. These innovations have been revolutionary both for consumers and the business world. Today we’re also seeing more government entities integrating  M2M and wireless technology to improve public safety and emergency response communications.

Consumers can enjoy M2M primarily in the form of consumer electronics, energy use, transportation, education and health. For businesses, M2M is developing new ways to use data smarter and advance automation, in the areas of asset management, security, remote diagnostics and repair, fleet management, customer service improvements and more.

How Big Is M2M?

In their 2012 annual report, M2M Global Forecast & Analysis 2011-22, technology and research consulting firm Machina Research shared the following predictions for global M2M communications in the coming years:

  • M2M connections will increase from two billion in 2011 to 18 billion worldwide by 2022.
  • Revenue will grow from $200 million in 2011 to $1.2 trillion USD in 2022.
  • Consumer electronics (such as TVs, cameras and music players) and intelligent buildings (security, HVAC, etc.) will dominate – accounting for nearly 70% of this revenue.
  • China and the U.S. will offer the biggest markets by 2022 (20 percent and 19 percent respectively).
  • By 2022, Europe and developing Asia-Pacific will tie for the biggest M2M regions with each owning 27 percent of M2M connections.

Applications for the Public Safety Sector with Wireless and M2M

For first responders, getting crucial information fast, could mean the difference between life and death. With the growth of wireless systems and advances in M2M technology, communications between the team on the streets and the command center will continue to advance.

  • Technology now exists that allows wireless two-way voice and listen-in capabilities by utilizing GSM instead of a landline.
  • Government agencies are adopting LTE (long-term evolution) wireless technology to transmit real-time video, access mug shots and support license plate recognition systems. (The Federal Communications Commission mandated LTE use for U.S. nationwide public safety networks in 2011.) Harris County, Texas, is rolling out an LTE system with enhanced video and data capabilities. LTE devices are connected to a multimedia command center on an always-on public safety LTE broadband network.
  • Facial recognition software continues to develop. One application would be to build facial recognition and analytics software into ATM cameras and cameras in other strategic areas. These images could be cross-referenced with images in a mug shot database. A match could be communicated simultaneously to officers in the area, emergency response command centers and all levels of government law enforcement.
  • The San Jose Police Department, in San Jose, Calif., is using new wireless solutions that utilize GPS information for dispatch, can deliver real-time information about detainees and help enable a mobile finger printing initiative.

The opportunities to improve public safety through advances in M2M and wireless technology are endless. If you’re looking to take advantage of new technology for your emergency response center or business call center, Kova Corporation can help. We specialize in workforce management, public safety and contact center solutions. Contact us to learn more.

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