M2M in the Amazon Rainforest

Last updated: 11 April 2014

Most of us are familiar with the Western idiom ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’, meaning simply the blinkered study of anything, for too long, can detract from the greater understanding of an ultimate goal. At Gemalto, we’re all for clarity of vision and long term solutions.

As you may have read in publications like M2M Magazine and TIME, news articles like this one in The Independent (UK) by Donna Bowater, and on blogs like TMCnet, curated by Rich Tehrani, Gemalto’s Cinterion M2M technology is now being used in devices that monitor and prevent deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

By monitoring precise areas of forest in Brazil using the wireless connectivity in Invisible Tracck devices, developed by Cargo Tracck, we’re able to achieve both detailed focus of uninhabited areas and aid the progress of law enforcement and the Brazilian environmental protection agency IBAMA to achieve their goal of protecting the rainforest from illegal activity.

The Gemalto-powered Invisible Tracck devices are deployed to detect unauthorized logging activities missed by traditional satellite surveillance and radio monitoring. Smaller than a deck of cards, the discreet device combines a tiny BGS2 module with localization algorithms and Radiation Exchange Data (RED) technology that extends the range of wireless communications in low signal areas.

The solution is covertly installed in trees located in active harvesting and sends alarm notifications and exact location information to officials as soon as trees pass within 20 miles of a cellular network. This way, authorities protecting these areas can respond in real-time, trace loggers to sawmills and prevent the sale and profit from illegally-harvested wood.

It’s testament to the development of M2M technology in recent years, alongside our modern power management systems, that these devices can operate reliably in position for over a year without recharging batteries.

Will Kelly of Tech Republic recently stated that the combination of Big Data and M2M has the potential to elevate both technologies into wider and more innovative uses than ever, citing wireless carriers, energy management and auto insurance as three enthralling applications.

So over to you, what else can benefit from M2M innovation? You don’t have to protect a rainforest to benefit from a world of connected devices.

Update: We’ve been named a 2013 Laureate of IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program. Gemalto is recognized in the World-Good category for our leading-edge Cinterion M2M technology used to help thwart illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology (IT) promoting positive social, economic and educational change.