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A pioneering example of machine-to-machine communication for consumer use is General Motors’ OnStar, an M2M system for automobiles in which an onboard sensor automatically notifies OnStar's network if there is an accident or system failure. M2M communications are used in many industries, often to collect information from sensors deployed remotely. For example, devices tracking the heart rate or blood-sugar level of patients with chronic conditions can transmit the information to a monitoring station that will trigger an alarm for a nurse or doctor where an abnormal pattern is detected. Networked sensors in a power plant can collect and transmit data on how generators are operating, to allow analysis by sophisticated predictive methods that will diagnose potential faults and schedule preventive maintenance automatically.
A common machine-to-machine communication protocol is PubSubHubbub.