The Global Networked Economy is entering the next phase of its ongoing evolution. Emerging phenomena, such as the Industrial Internet, will help to launch progressive applications that will require new market development leadership.
The outlook for these upside opportunities are boundless.
Imagine a highway where cars are able to safely navigate to their destinations without a driver. Imagine a home where an elderly patient’s health is closely monitored by her hospital physician. Imagine a city that significantly reduces waste through sensor-embedded water pipes, buildings, parking meters and more. These are no longer scenarios from a distant future -- they're happening today.
Nearly 12 billion internet-connected devices will be in use worldwide by the end of 2014, according to the latest global market study by Strategy Analytics.
That is equivalent to 1.7 devices for every person on the planet -- a ratio which will rise to 4.3 by 2020, when 33 billion devices will be in use.
"Back in 2007 PCs accounted for two thirds of internet devices -- now it's only 10 percent," said David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The impact of the internet on daily lives has increased rapidly in recent years. Huge growth potential still lies ahead, in terms of both the number of devices relying on internet connectivity and its geographic reach.
The report that resulted from the study, "Connected World: The Internet of Things and Connected Devices in 2020," quantifies the scale of the connected device opportunity across the Internet of Things (IoT), smart home, smartphones, PCs, media tablets, smart TVs, internet media devices and wearable devices.
According to the Strategy Analytics assessment, traditional connected devices like PCs, smartphones and media tablets now account for less than a third of all connected devices in use.
Emerging categories alone will connect an additional 17.6 billion devices to the internet by 2020.
The Internet of Things is leading to rapid growth in new categories like machine-to-machine (M2M), smart objects, smart grid and smart cities. But this is just the beginning of what's to come.
"The Internet of Things has already connected five billion devices and we are only at the beginning of this revolution," says Andrew Brown, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "Smart cities and smart grid are just two of the ways in which the internet of things will touch everyone’s lives over the coming years and decades."