I was recently reading about an exciting new application introduced by our business partner Iridium, which enables airlines to fly directly over the Earth's Polar Regions instead of around them. This unmanned aircraft flight path was not possible before an innovator like Iridium made it so and it got me thinking about other life saving or enhancing applications or solutions – miraculous solutions, if you will – that could be enabled by M2M connections using always-on, hybrid cellular/satellite connectivity. Perhaps the term "miraculous" is a leap, but there are certainly a number of intriguing applications of this technology to either create massive efficiencies or keep people out of harm's way.
For example, one could easily envision an M2M-enabled, rugged device that could be dropped into the "hot zone" of a forest fire to evaluate the exact conditions and assess the heat, size and spread of the blaze — before a helicopter or other air support could get there. Armed with this knowledge, fire fighters could, for example, pinpoint the most effective water drop area, optimize location of fire barriers and help first responder aircraft avoid the hottest areas of the fire or the heaviest smoke fields. Or, think of the inevitable marine search that seems to happen annually in nearly every high-traffic coastal region. What if all recreational boats, or even each person on these boats, were equipped with an M2M-based safety device, designed to transmit location information in the event of emergency? How many more lives might be saved if rescuers were able to hone in on a distress signal?
In each of these cases, M2M delivers a multilateral benefit. It provides an added measure of peace-of-mind and safety to the human players, decreases the cost of potential search and rescue missions and more than likely improves the outcome of a rescue. In fact, it could easily be said that M2M changes the very nature of Search and Rescue, altering it from a hunt-and-peck operation to one of surgical precision.
Thinking back to the earthquake in Japan and the ensuing nuclear crisis, consider the role that un-manned remote sensors could have played in determining the state of the breached reactor and defining its danger zones. With M2M, human technicians could have maintained a safe distance from the source of radiation while measuring the exact ground conditions simultaneously in real-time. There would not have been such a flurry of speculation and panic in those days following the quake and perhaps the extent of the disaster could have been contained with earlier knowledge of what was truly occurring on the ground.
On a lighter note, for those of us old enough to remember the surreal, low-speed O.J. Simpson chase prior to the even more surreal arrest and trial, think of how many taxpayer dollars could have been saved if it was not a police helicopter and the corresponding parade of police cars following behind O.J.'s SUV, but rather a M2M-enabled camera mounted on a remote-controlled drone aircraft communicating wirelessly to police on the ground to optimize the location of a road block. With M2M rising, the days of these easily deployable air vehicles, whose sole purpose is to be an omniscient eye in the sky for municipal and state law enforcement, are not far off. Like it or not – when used for the greater good, I consider these miracle applications.
By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing
Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.