I walked into an AT&T Telepresence® room the other day and I was momentarily teleported to the deck of the Starship Enterprise. Colleagues located thousands of miles away were suddenly right there in front of me. I half expected Jean-Luc Picard to dial-in.

When I think of all the ways the telecommunications industry has grown in the last 20 years, it feels as if we’re living in the future, as if the promises of those sci-fi franchises are coming true. In many ways – through the power of  telepresence – they are.

But what if I told you we are merely standing at the bottom of a mountain of potential, and there are significant barriers prohibiting us from scaling that mountain?

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology – whereby sensors and networks connect all parts of a system to communicate effectively – is a tool we can use to scale that mountain. M2M has the opportunity to revolutionize the ways we live, work, and play. This probably sounds like a large revenue generator. And you’re right: it is, to the projected tune of $1 trillion. M2M technology also has the potential of reducing Green House Gas emissions by 9 billion tons by 2020 – that’s the approximate GHG emissions of the United States and India in 2010.

So what’s stopping wide-scale adoption of this seemingly world-changing technology?

To answer this question, we commissioned Carbon War Room to deliver their expert view on these barriers and to find some innovative solutions for overcoming them. The result of that work is a new study, Machine-to-Machine Technologies: Breaking the Barriers of a $1 Trillion Industry, which we released at Mobile World Congress last week.

The study not only validates our vigorous investment in M2M – demonstrated through releases this week with M2M OnAsset and Axeda—but also clearly lays out solutions for breaking down M2M’s potential so people and businesses in all links of the supply chain can begin to reap its benefits.

I invite you to review the study and join me, my colleagues, and Carbon War Room in starting to break down those barriers. I’ll be waiting for you, telepresence room ready and cup of Earl Grey tea in hand.

How do you see M2M changing the way we live, work and travel? What market barriers do you perceive as being the most challenging and how can they be overcome?