Vodafone and IBM team up on connected home appliances

With M2M services expected to grow rapidly over the coming quarters, Vodafone is attempting to steal a march on its rivals by collaborating with tech giant IBM for the remote management of connected home appliances.

The two firms have been demonstrating the mobile management of a washing machine and other smart home devices, connected by Vodafone’s Global M2M Platform and running on IBM’s new SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform, at the IFA consumer technology event in Berlin this past week.

IBM’s platform provides appliance manufacturers with a cost-effective and scalable way to manage appliances and to rapidly introduce related new consumer services. Vodafone’s M2M platform, meanwhile, offers appliance manufacturers a way to deploy managed and secure wireless connectivity to home gateways. By combining the platforms, the two companies aim to provide a global, open standards-based approach for smart home connectivity and solutions.

They anticipate that the 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. Manufacturers will also be able to collect data from appliances that can be used to inform product development and maintenance and provide better services to consumers.

“Cloud will increasingly be used in new ways that will provide enhanced consumer-centric experiences — especially when combined with mobile communications,” said IBM Telecommunications Industry GM Scott Stainken.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Tim Groves 04/09/2012 @ 6:51 am

    M2M is an exciting area, but anyone talking about “activating home appliances such as washing machines” is missing the crucial loading / unloading issue.

    My rule of thumb is, if M2M can replaced with a timer switch, then it’s probably not useful.

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