Modems were originally used for connecting users to the Internet or for sending faxes, but a majority of the modems in use today are used by businesses in a variety of different applications. Some of these applications include data transfers, remote management, broadband backup, Point of Sale, Machine to Machine among many others. Most of these solutions are hidden on the back-end but make our lives easier every day, below are some examples of these applications.
Point of Sale (PoS)
PoS is one of the most heavily used applications by the everyday consumer. Anytime you pay via credit card or debit card there is a modem (dial-up or broadband) behind it transferring that data and returning an approval or denial quickly and in the case of dial-up solutions with less costs associated.
Examples of Point of Sale
- Credit Card Payment Terminal in restaurants, movie theaters, or retail stores
- Ticketing machines in trains stations, bus stations, and airports
- Pre-pay gas pumps
- ATM cash machines
Learn more about Point of Sale (PoS).
Remote Management, Maintenance, & Logistics
Modems can be installed in remote locations at off-site locations, tight enclosures, or inside sensitive locations. Certain applications can be controlled remotely via the modem without having to make a visit to the actual location. This can save time and money in travel costs, but can also prevent accidents or issues due to the possibility for quick reaction times and instant configuration changes if needed.
Examples of Remote Management, Maintenance or Logistics
- Stoplight Timing Control - ability to alter signal timing from headquarters to regulate traffic flows
- Roadside Digital Signs - ability to change messages from headquarters
- Grocery Store Freezer and Cooler Call Center - ability to monitor temperatures and status as well as receive alerts automatically
- Safe company - ability to check temperature, etc. to verify interior of safe is secure
- Golf Course Irrigation system - control timing and usage of sprinklers as well as monitoring consumption
- Vending machine inventory and status- determine what needs to be replaced before arriving on site
- Gas/Petrol station maintenance - when a credit card operated pump is down an alert is relayed to a central point 24 hours a day
Out of Band Access, Broadband & Server backup
Many small, medium, and large companies depend on constant communication connections to run their businesses. Many companies rely on broadband connections for their employee connections, but need a reliable backup if the broadband or server connections go down (commonly known as Out of Band Access). Brown outs aren't unknown and can affect clients as well as employees, and with a dial-up backup data can always be retrieved and servers can be configured remotely no matter what the status is of the broadband connection.
Examples of Broadband backup
- Backup for VPN dial in connections
- Server backup - backup for broadband as well as remote management of configuration and diagnostics
- Backup for ADSL connections in DVD rental or car washes
Many large companies have a headquarter location where all data is centrally located. Normally this means that the other locations need to send the data in to HQ on a daily basis. Dial-up modem solutions are ideal due to the fact that they can be programmed to dial in each night and efficiently transfer the data with secure connections, redial functionality if the call is dropped - to start up where it stopped, and utilize the non-peak call time for cheaper long term costs.
Examples of Data transfers
- Synchronization of data at a headquarter location from other branches
- Daily Sales information sent to a headquarter location from other branches
Machine to Machine (M2M)
Machine to Machine solutions typically have a communications link connecting 2 machines (computers, electronic devices) that are capable of transferring data on demand between the 2 machines without any human interaction required.
Examples of Machine to Machine
- Medical devices transferring test results to a computer at a doctor's office
There are many other applications that use modems for a variety of functions most include the use of the dial-back and remote management features.
Examples of Other Applications
- Cell phone tower maintenance on circuits etc.
- Gasoline vapor containment system
- Home security monitoring - A modem is used to send a voice message to a telephone/mobile when an alarm is set off
- Property listings
- Cinema screening approval - a serial port modem is used to send a coded key to authorise a cinema to screen a particular film.
Modem Applications: Point of Sale Explained