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Consumer 'Internet of Things' to Include 16 Billion Connectable Devices by 2020

By Anshu Shrivastava October 29, 2010

The consumer “Internet of Things” (IOT) will grow to encompass almost 16 billion connectable devices worldwide by 2020, according to a new report published by Analysys Mason, the global telecoms, media and IT adviser.

The report, entitled “Internet 3.0: the Internet of Things,” observes that the roots of the emerging IOT market lie in industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) systems.

The prices of M2M communications equipment have fallen, and as a result manufacturers have deployed the technology in an increasing amount of consumer energy meters -- known as “smart meters,” according to this report by Analysys Mason. Also, the report notes that the manufacturers have started to install it in a range of household equipment, cars and security systems.

The 16 billion connectable consumer devices by 2020 may actually be a conservative estimate, said Jim Morrish, principal analyst at Analysys Mason and author of the report, adding that taking into account the uncertainties inherent in forecasting new technologies 10 years out, “we believe that a realistic maximum number of devices may be 44 billion, and 6 billion a realistic minimum.”

“That’s a worldwide average of between 0.8 and 5.8 devices for each person alive in 2020,” Morrish said.

The report predicts that an individual consumer’s window into the IOT is likely to take the form of a smartphone handset. Moreover, aggregation and filtering functions, management and control functions, and the actual devices -- constituting the consumer IOT research program -- will sit behind that handset.

Morrish said that the most direct potential consequence of the IOT is the generation of huge quantities of data. “In a hypothetical IOT environment, every physical object -- and many virtual objects -- may have a virtual twin in ‘the cloud’, which could be generating regular updates.”

Analysys Mason delivers strategy advice, operations support, and market intelligence worldwide to commercial and public-sector organisations in telecoms, IT, and media.

In September, Analysys Mason reported that mobile content and applications influence $80 billion of global mobile spending.


Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for IoTevolutionworld. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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