A few years ago, Gartner began a new hype around the Internet of Things, predicting that 4.9 billion things would be connected by 2015, a 30% increase from the year before. They also estimated that IoT would support service spending of around $69.5 billion in 2015. In 2016, Gartner predicted that 6.4 billion things would be connected by the close of the year, with the category growing just as fast as the year before, featuring another 30% boost.
Today, the experts suggest that 8.4 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the end of this year – a rise of 31% since 2017. Total spending for the services and endpoints of these IoT solutions should reach about $2 trillion too. According to Gartner, and many other experts in the field, IoT is poised on the brink of market explosion. They believe that there will be 21 billion devices connected by the end of 2020, with both businesses and consumers tapping into the potential that interconnected devices can offer.
The question is, how will the growth of IoT affect you?
IoT and the World of Business
It’s easy to see how companies might be affected by the growing importance of IoT. As new IoT devices continue to connect consumers in new ways with new interactions, entrepreneurs and marketers will gain access to more information than ever before. Companies will be able to track and record patterns of human behaviour, potentially learning for them to allow for more intelligent product delivery.
At the same time, IoT will transform the way the world works, by introducing more opportunities for remote work. When multiple devices are all connected to the same network, remote working employees can become more connected than ever before, accomplishing tasks from places around the world. IoT holds the potential to give new businesses more efficiency, speed, and accessibility than they’ve ever had in the past. With more data to learn from, more real-time information to explore and the constant potential for improvement, companies will be able to deliver the experience their customers want, with less initial outlay.
IoT and the Everyday
Of course, it’s not just big business that can benefit from a growing environment of IoT connections. Consumers are already beginning to see how IoT can bring the world into the future with the next stage of “smart” devices in the form of televisions and phones. You can use the internet to turn your lights on when you aren’t at home and potentially deter criminals, or monitor your vital signs with things like steps taken and blood pressure analysis on your wearables.
IoT can help you to plan your day, by accessing information and communicating with other technology in your network. For instance, your phone can read the weather report, tell your car it’s going to be cold, and turn up the heating for you. Your car can then tell your home coffee machine when you’re on your way home from the office, so it can start brewing immediately.
The world of IoT offers countless possibilities for the future. As we continue to establish that connected devices will be the new “norm” for the coming years, it’s up to us to start discovering the true potential of these clever, learning systems.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.