It is estimated that the Internet of Things will grow into a 17 trillion dollar market by the year 2020, with over 50 billion devices connected to the internet – more than 6 devices for every person on the planet!
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is really nothing new. It basically refers to networked devices, which have been around for as long as the internet and even before that in closed networks. It is known as machine-to-machine communication, or M2M.
The technology has been around for decades, so what’s different now?
What’s new is that those sensors and microcontrollers have become so small and so cheap that it’s now feasible to connect them to just about anything. Along with that, the infrastructure of the internet has evolved such that it costs very little to host this type of data online. There are even IoT hosting services now that offer free hosting for up to a certain number of uploads.
For businesses, it is an opportunity for a direct connection to consumers long after a sale.
Within 5 years thousands of products such thermostats, washing machines, coffee makers, refrigerators and even lawn mowers will be internet enabled. Customers can expect an email or text informing them that a sensor has detected that the temperature of their riding mower’s engine is a little high and they should replace the spark plug, or that their heating/AC filter needs to be changed – along with, of course, a convenient link to purchase a new one!