The Internet of Things
By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become connected; where Web 1.0 was about computers connecting to their data and Web 2.0 was about people connecting to their data, Web 3.0 seems set to be about everything connecting to everything.
Blogs, news sites, and CEOs have all predicted and extolled the virtues of the upcoming shift. Smart homes for everyone, better accessibility for disabled people, on-going health monitoring and driverless cars all point towards a world where humans’ lives become easier and machines take responsibility. Away from the hype, however, you can see some very real signs for yourself that the internet of things is set to explode in an unprecedented way over the coming years:
1) A rapidly increasing number of start-ups in the sector
A look at Angel.co – a site advertised as ‘where start-ups meet investors’ – shows 569 companies listed under ‘Internet of Things’. These companies have attracted 1,466 investors and have an average value of $4.9 million.
A cursory search on Google will reveal countless start-ups who are all destined to make a big splash over the coming years, boosting the sector beyond recognition.
2) The tech giants are coming…
Industrial companies (such as GE, Siemens, Bosch, and Philips.), as well as large tech companies (for example, Cisco, Intel, Apple, and Samsung) are all becoming more involved. Products such as Apple’s HomeKit, Philips’ ‘Hue Starter Pack’, and Samsung’s SmartThings all point towards a sector dominated by names that everyday consumers are accustomed to – thus making the area more mainstream.
3) A notable increase in merger and acquisition activity
In the last eighteen months a huge number of promising start-ups have been acquired by the tech giants. Nest and Oculus are the two most well-known examples, but also companies such as Basis, Dropcam, SmartThings, and Revolv have all been bought out by bigger enterprises seeking to grab market share. As a result of this, it’s very noticeable that there are comparatively few mid- to late-stage start-ups in the sector.
4) It has a global reach
Innovation in the internet of things space has been happening all around the world. Europe has been very active with companies such as Withings, Sigfox, Netatmo, and Berg leading the way, but all countries are starting to get on-board – as LIFX in Australia demonstrates.
5) The market it young
Considering the age of the market there are already an amazing array of products available. A glance to the future will reveal concepts such as digital health, invisibles, augmented reality, smart cities, connected cars, and aerials just around the corner, the growth is really starting to pick up its pace.
What do you think points to an exciting future for the Internet of Things? Let us know in the comments below.
By Daniel Price
Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.