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Internet Of Things ‘To Hit 4.9 Billion Things By 2015’

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Scope of IoT set to grow 30 percent from 2014, Gartner forecasts

The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to grow rapidly as more of the world around us gets connected to everything else, a new report has predicted.

Leading analyst firm Gartner has said that it anticipates that the number of connected ‘things’ across the world has nearly reached parity with the global population, and will hit 25 billion by 2020.

Overall, 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, the firm said, including 2.9 billion things in the consumer sector, showing that the Internet of Things has become a powerful force for business transformation, with its impact being felt across all industries and all areas of society.

And as industries looks to exploit and benefit from the technology, the economic impact of the IoT is set to grow to support total services spending of $69.5 billion in 2015 and $263 billion by 2020.

Internet of things, world electronics fibre network connection © asharkyu ShutterstockWidespread

“The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses. They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerisation of IT,” said Gartner analyst and vice president Jim Tully.

The findings were released by Gartner at its Symposium/ITxpo event in Barcelona, where the firm called for CIOs to look to the IoT’s opportunities for growth as built-in intelligence and connectivity technology filters down into everyday products.

“The number of connected intelligent devices will continue to grow exponentially, giving ’smart things’ the ability to sense, interpret, communicate and negotiate, and effectively have a digital ‘voice’,” said Steve Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “CIOs must look for opportunities to create new services, usage scenarios and business models based on this growth.”

All-encompassing

Gartenr predicts that the manufacturing, utilities and transportation industries will see the most use from the IoT– with 736 million combined connected things in use in 2015. By 2020, however, utilities will take top spot, with manufacturing and government taking up the top three, totalling 1.7 billion IoT units installed.British Gas smart energy meter

“Government will take the No. 3 spot as it invests in smart street and area lighting for energy saving reasons,” said Mr Tully. “Utilities will move to the No. 1 position because of investment in smart meters.”

Smart meters are due to be installed as standard across Britain by 2020, following a government drive to encourage greater energy efficiency by replacing existing gas and electricity meters. British Gas is looking to roll out its smart meters (pictured above) earlier than 2020 in order to help benefit customers, and has already installed more than a million devices in homes and business premises free of charge.

“The number of connected intelligent devices will continue to grow exponentially, giving ’smart things’ the ability to sense, interpret, communicate and negotiate, and effectively have a digital ‘voice’,” said Mr Prentice. “CIOs must look for opportunities to create new services, usage scenarios and business models based on this growth.”

Despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of the Internet of Things, many consumers are still wary of the effect the technology will have on everyday life. A recent KPMG survey of more than 1,600 consumer across the UK found that more than half (58 percent) resent the idea that computers seem to run their lives “wherever I go” and 70 percent suggest that with the marketplace flooded by inter-connected devices, it’s too easy for things to go wrong.

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