Railway station

M2M provides travelers with real-time updates

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M2M technologies are helping making our lives more secure and more convenient, whether helping control our energy usage, providing us with access to in-car apps, or looking after our medical treatments. In fact, there are so many potential uses for exciting M2M technologies that it’s easy to feel lost in a wave of innovation.

One thing that won’t leave you lost, however, is Deutsche Bahn’s new dynamic passenger information system in Germany, which we’re delighted to be powering with our M2M technology. Aiming to improve the customer experience in more remote, less-well connected stations, this technology will provide the network’s millions of rural users with up-to-the-minute information on departures and delays, helping more those using smaller stations manage itineraries and relieve travel stress.

Mashable published an interesting story last month on a similar public information project, looking at how New York is set to run a pilot project, rejuvenating old phone booths and installing “iPad-like touchscreen devices for directions and hyper-local news”. For now, the directories will show information about local eateries, area shopping, traffic alerts, directions and safety alerts, which is great for tourists without a map or looking for local information. Automated, accessible technologies, powered by M2M communications, are clearly going to become more integrated into our everyday lives in the years ahead.

Our cities are going to become smarter and smarter and the new passenger information system for Deutsche Bahn, known in Germany as “DSA – Dynamischer Schriftanzeiger“, is a great example of the direction we are heading in. It will provide travelers with real-time travel updates, communicated from Deutsche Bahn’s central passenger information server over wireless networks to weather-proof display screens on the train platforms. While many of us depend on using our smartphones to access information when we are out and about, this service will ensure passengers are better connected than ever before.

Usman Haque, Founder of open data web firm Pachube, wrote a brilliant article on Wired this week, which I highly recommend reading, showing just one part of the journey that we must make on our way to a fully connected societal ecosystem. Real-time travel updates communicated via M2M technology is just the start and you’ll be hearing a lot more about smart cities on our blog this year.

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