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Gartner expects 6.4bn connected things in 2016

Over 5.5m new things will be connected every day next year

Gartner expects 6.4bn connected things in 2016
By 2020, there will be 20.8bn connected things in use.

Around 6.4bn connected things will be in use worldwide by 2016, an increase of 30% over 2015, according to the latest insights from Gartner.

In its latest report, the research house predicted that over 5.5m new things will get connected every day next year, and that by 2020, there will be 20.8bn connected things in use.

In terms of spending, Gartner said that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235bn in 2016, up by 22% from 2015. Services are currently dominated by the professional category, in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate IoT systems, Gartner said. However, the research house added that connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace.

"IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors," said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprise will account for the largest spending."

Gartner said that it estimates 4bn connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5bn in 2020.

In the enterprise, Gartner considers two classes of connected things. The first class consists of generic or cross-industry devices that are used in multiple industries, and vertical-specific devices that are found in particular industries.

Cross-industry devices include connected light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems that are mainly deployed for purposes of cost saving. The second class includes vertical-specific devices, such as specialised equipment used in hospital operating theatres, tracking devices in container ships, and many others.

"Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise," said Tully.

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