20.4 billion connected things by 2020; Gartner

The consumer segment is the largest user of connected things with 5.2 billion units in 2017

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20.4 billion connected things by 2020; Gartner Greater China, North America and Western Europe are driving the use of connected things
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 9, 2017

Research house Gartner has predicted that this year there will be 8.4 billion connected things worldwide and is set to reach 20.4 billion by 2020.

According to Gartner, Greater China, North America and Western Europe are driving the use of connected things and together will represent 67% of the overall Internet of Things (IoT) installed base in 2017. Also, the consumer segment is the largest user of connected things with 5.2 billion units in 2017, plus businesses are on pace to employ 3.1 billion connected things in 2017.

Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner, explained: "Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses."

In addition to smart meters, applications tailored to specific industry verticals (including manufacturing field devices, process sensors for electrical generating plants and real-time location devices for healthcare) will drive the use of connected things among businesses through 2017, with 1.6 billion units deployed.

However Gartner predicts that, from 2018 onwards, cross-industry devices, such as those targeted at smart buildings (including LED lighting, HVAC and physical security systems) will take the lead as connectivity is driven into higher-volume, lower cost devices.

Denise Rueb, research director at Gartner, added: "IoT services are central to the rise in IoT devices. Total IoT services spending (professional, consumer and connectivity services) is on pace to reach $273 billion in 2017.

"Services are dominated by the professional IoT-operational technology category in which providers assist businesses in designing, implementing and operating IoT systems. However, connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace. Consumer IoT services are newer and growing off a small base. Similarly, connectivity services are growing robustly as costs drop, and new applications emerge."

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