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M2M technology improves the lives of Vision Australia members

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Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is transforming the way we do business and manage government services, but it’s also making a real difference to the everyday life of a growing number of people.


One example is our Optus M2M solution helping Vision Australia members – people who are suffering from conditions which impair their sight – access a wide range of printed media including the latest newspapers, magazines and books.


For the vision impaired members of Vision Australia, it meant waiting up to a fortnight for a postal delivery of CD’s containing their selected audio books. It was a great service, but with Vision Australia’s digital library now offering 34,000 audio books and other publications - it’s even better. The CD’s have been replaced by a new streaming service that delivers content directly to the members’ E-reader device using the Optus mobile network. With content being delivered in near real time it means that members can access current newspapers for the first time, plus a greater volume of content is available.


As Anthea Taylor, Library Manager of Vision Australia, says: “We’re delivering a significantly better service for our members. They no longer have to wait days for CDs to be delivered or worry about returning the discs. Newspapers arrive on the morning that they’re published.”


How the M2M solution works

M2M technology can be used for a wide variety of applications – from security monitoring to managing transport fleets – but in this instance it enables wireless connectivity between Vision Australia’s digital library and the members’ audio playback devices.


Optus and its partner M2M Connectivity designed the M2M solution that has been incorporated into the existing DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) devices. The Optus’ M2M Control Centre enables the Vision Australia team to automatically provision the SIM card in each player, monitor the device, control usage and remotely address any problems.


Delivering a better future

“We’re also learning a lot more about our members’ reading habits,” says Jamie Kelly, Online Training Officer at Vision Australia Library. “We can see if they only read five minutes of a book, for example, and this sort of additional information can be used to improve our book recommendations and other services to members.”


For Vision Australia, the solution significantly reduces the administrative burden of providing the service to 16,000 members. “The savings that result from production and despatch of fewer CDs, and associated packaging and labour savings, free up funds for other things, such as expanding the library and providing other services,” says Anthea Taylor.


For more details on how M2M technology is helping the organisation and its members, see the Vision Australia case study.

About the Author
Anthony Stewart is the IOT Practice Lead at Singtel Optus, where he helps customers understand and apply ‘Internet of Things’ technology and solutions to gain operational efficiencies and business insights. He also works on building the Singtel Group’s global IOT capabilities. Anthony is an expert in M2M and IOT technology and has spent many years at Optus guiding clients in its use across many industries including electronic security, property services, retail and transport. He possesses a rich understanding of the importance of IOT technology and the opportunities it holds for business. His experience with the technology began as an Optus account manager between 2002 and 2010 where he worked with the pioneers of M2M technology in Australia and led to his appointment as the M2M Market Development Manager in 2010. In this role, Anthony developed an M2M product set for Optus Business clients and established the M2M strategy for Optus Business. As M2M technology evolved to become the Internet of Things, the IOT Practice was established and is today led by Anthony with the primary aim of helping Optus customers unlock the value of the Internet of Things. Anthony’s other areas of expertise include, wireless security, business messaging, electronic security, fixed wireless convergence and mobility applications.