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Gartner: IoT to "Far Exceed" all Connected Devices

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The Internet of Things (IoT), the term covering all non-PC, -tablet or -smartphone connected devices, will grow to 26 billion installed units by 2020 according to Gartner, growth of almost 3000% from 0.9bn in 2009.

Internet of ThingsThe analyst also reports IoT product and service vendors will make revenues exceeding $300bn in 2020, with global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets worth $1.9 trillion.

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects carrying embedded technology allowing communication, sensing or interaction with internal states or external environments. It includes hardware (the actual "things"), embedded software and communication/information services associated with the things.

"The growth in IoT will far exceed that of other connected devices. By 2020, the number of smartphones tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3bn units," Gartner says. "In contrast, the IoT will have expanded at a much faster rate, resulting in a population of about 26bn units at that time."

Adding IoT capability to consumer products is fairly low-cost, meaning there will be a large population of "ghost" devices with unused connectivity. In addition enterprises will make extensive use of IoT technology, with products sold in markets as far-ranging as medical, industrial, agricultural, automotive and infrastructural.

Gartner predicts by 2020 component prices will be so low connectivity will be standard even in processors costing all of $1, and many of the connected device categories found in 2020 do not yet exist. Thus the near future will see an explosion of connected things across a wide range of industries, be it safety, security and loss prevention sensors, improved point-of-sale terminals, and various health and fitness devices and services.

Go Gartner Forecast: Internet of Things 2013