Sprint's M2M lab: Where machines do the talking
In Sprint's M2M Collaboration Center outside San Francisco, the carrier demonstrates M2M solutions for helping machines talk to each other.
Though Sprint is best known as the country's third-largest wireless carrier, the company does a lot more than just deliver voice and data service to your cell phone. Its network also powers M2M, or machine-to-machine, solutions that enable machines to talk to each other without a human getting in the way.
Earlier this week, I visited Sprint's M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif. In a nondescript building within earshot of the runways at San Francisco International Airport, the carrier demonstrates various ways an M2M network can deliver services like remote management of a delivery company's vehicle fleet, smart meters, wireless point-of-sale transactions, electric vehicle charging, and remote monitoring of in-home health care. Sprint doesn't actually build the related devices--just like it doesn't make any cell phones--but it does build the wireless network on which the devices run. It's about the same network that powers your cell phone, but it's doing a lot of different things.