IoT devices will surpass world population this year

By Jonathan Crowl

This next year will be a big one for the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) worldwide, as the number of deployed devices in 2017 will surpass the global human population for the first time.

That growth doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon. According to analyst firm Gartner, a projected 20.4 billion IoT devices are expected to be deployed by the year 2020. The numbers for 2017 are projected to grow by 31 percent, hitting 8.4 billion total devices. Spending is also on the rise, with an estimated $2 trillion projected to be spent in 2017 alone.

Consumer devices represent the majority of this spending, with 63 percent of all IoT devices being owned by private individuals. The rest are business devices.

The trends between these two branches of the IoT are distinctive. On the consumer side, the majority of connected devices will feature smart TVs, kitchen appliances, vehicles and other domestic projects enhanced by mobile technology. For businesses, common web-connected devices will include security cameras, electric meters and other solutions with enterprise applications.

However, the continued growth of the IoT will be driven by the proliferation of IoT devices in yet-untapped industries. According to ZDNet, products and industries including LED lighting, HVAC and other home utility services will see continued adoption of the IoT.

Though the percentage growth of IoT device adoption is slowing down, it’s important to note that this is an indication of a gradually maturing market where device penetration is achieving a global scale. Yet amid this maturation, billions of new devices will still enter the market on an annual basis for the next few years.

This adoption will bring consumers and businesses face to face with new challenges and questions surrounding mobile security, but the new opportunities of mobile technology easily outweigh these considerations. Enterprises may be careful to adopt the IoT at a pace they can effectively manage, but this adoption is inevitable.

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