IBM and Vodafone announced a collaboration to combine mobile communications and cloud computing for the remote management of ‘smart home’ appliances.
At the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin this week, Vodafone and IBM will demonstrate the mobile management of a washing machine and other smart home devices that are connected by Vodafone’s Global M2M Platform running on IBM’s new SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform.
Machine-to-Machine technology makes home appliances more intelligent by connecting them wirelessly to the internet. This enables them to feed useful data back to the service provider or manufacturer to achieve a better customer experience through new functionality and enhanced services.
“The smart home market is now a reality and Vodafone is committed to delivering to it,” said Marc Tastayre, Vodafone M2M global business development manager. “Security is the first important step for connecting devices to the internet and the collaboration between IBM and Vodafone is putting in place an open, efficient and scalable solution for the consumer electronics industry that will enable it to successfully progress the creation of the ‘Internet of Things’.”
IBM and Vodafone anticipate that this M2M initiative could allow consumers to use their smartphones for a variety of remote activities including viewing their home’s utility consumption; controlling security, heating and lighting systems; and activating home appliances such as washing machines
Additionally the initiative will enable manufacturers and service providers to collect data from appliances that can be used to inform product development and maintenance and provide better services to consumers.
“This collaboration is a great example of how cloud computing can be used for business innovation versus solely for IT efficiency purposes,” said IBM telecommunications industry general manager Scott Stainken. “Cloud will increasingly be used in new ways that will provide enhanced consumer-centric experiences — especially when combined with mobile communications.”
The IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform provides a fully integrated, scalable cloud-based platform to give manufacturers a cost-effective and scalable way to manage appliances and to rapidly introduce related new consumer services. Vodafone’s Global M2M Platform offers appliance manufacturers the ability to easily and rapidly deploy managed and secure wireless connectivity to home gateways. By combining the platforms, the two companies will also provide the consumer electronics industry with an example of a truly global, open standards-based approach for Smarter Home connectivity and solutions.