Which consumer-facing M2M propositions will make their mark first? – Question from Mobile Heroes’ Helen Keegan

Continuing our trend of being interviewed by leading experts in our spheres of influence, as we did last year around Mobile World Congress, we are starting this again for #MWC2012. Kicking off our first interview is Helen Keegan who is running Mobile Heroes at Mobile World Congress and also blogs at Musings of a Mobile Marketer.

She has asked us: ‘Which consumer-facing machine-to-machine (M2M) propositions will make their mark first?’ Well, we define M2M consumer applications as those that are single-purpose applications. These are ebooks, personal navigation devices (PND) or digital picture frames instead of multi-purpose applications such as tablet PCs, USB dongles, and the likes.

We have already seen the adoption of consumer applications like ebook readers, PND and digital picture frames. With exciting developments around embedded SIM and remote provisioning we expect that the simplified logistics will boost the market for connected devices and improve the customer experience.

In general, however, M2M consumer applications tend to suffer from the level of hype around them. Interest in them ramps up quickly and the devices often sell in large volumes, but can also tend to move away from cellular to WiFi connectivity.

I would say that the next hot trends we’ll see emerging are gaming consoles and digital cameras which are connected by M2M technology. There are also a number of tracking solutions that may be considered by some as consumer-facing offers, such as fleet tracking solutions being adapted to be able to track your pet or child – this is up for debate as to how ethical it is though.

And finally, mhealth is a proposition that will be of increasing interest to the consumer as more and more solutions appear in the areas of fitness and healthy living that offer attractive reasons to connect.

Ultimately though, it depends on what the consumer wants to use and be connected with. Until it is widely established, there will be a certain amount of chicken and egg situations.

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