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December Editorial: My own Internet of Things

Nov. 27, 2018
For at least a year before this editorial, I had been meaning to finally sit down and count up the number of connected devices in my home. The manufacturing trade publications I managed before Evaluation Engineering covered a lot about the Industrial Internet of Things and how connected devices were and would be used in production and logistics facilities, but naturally, my mind wandered to how such devices impact my life at home as well.

So in late October, my wife and I listed them out. We counted all devices capable of connecting to the internet (either directly or indirectly), or to another device via Bluetooth capability, even if we weren’t using that function. And for it being just the two of us, the list was quite lengthy. Here’s the breakdown:

2 smart TVs; 4 laptops (2 personal, 2 work-issued); 1 Internet modem; 1 router; 2 Roku TV devices; 1 Apple TV device; 1 Apple Watch; 1 FitBit; 2 smart phones; 1 soundbar; 1 pair of Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones; 1 portable speaker; 1 Kindle e-reader; 1 Nest thermostat; 1 Amazon Alexa; 1 hybrid car console system; 1 Bluetooth FM radio transceiver; 2 next-gen gaming systems; 2 Wi-Fi outdoor security cameras; and 1 Wi-Fi light bulb (lets us change our porch light color)

All-in-all, 28 connected devices at our home—17 of which connect directly to the Internet. I knew we had a lot of those devices, but it was a staggering total to see listed out. Granted, I don’t think our total is too wildly off the average for a married Millennial couple in the U.S. Nevertheless, we have essentially our own IoT at home.

After totaling those, I then wondered how that 28 number compared to that of five years ago. Recounting for that effect, the total drops to 12 total connected devices back in October of 2013. I found that drastic difference in just a five-year span to be even more eye-opening than our current device total.

Even so, our numbers at home accurately reflect the growth of the global IoT market. A Statista study from early 2018 showed that globally, the average number of connected devices per person was 1.84 in 2010; 3.47 in 2015; and is projected to reach 6.58 by 2020. Another Statista chart from 2018 shows that the worldwide IoT connected devices installed base was 15.4 billion in 2015; was projected to hit 23.14 billion in 2018; 35.82 billion by 2021; and surge to 75.44 billion by 2025.

I’m a stats person at heart, so courtesy of New Generation Applications, here’s a bunch more for you that illustrate the explosive growth of the IoT market and how lucrative it is:

The number of internet-connected “things” already exceeded global human population back in 2008. A whopping $19 trillion is anticipated as cost-savings and profits from this investment.

  • Only 0.06% of all devices that could potentially leverage IoT are actually doing so, meaning the remaining 99.94% are available for optimization
  • By 2025, the global worth of IoT technology is projected at $6.2 trillion, with the maximum value from healthcare ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.3 trillion)
  • Of all the businesses that chose to implement IoT, 94% have already seen a return on their IoT investments.
  • The percent of internet-connected cars is expected to rise from 10% in 2012 to 90% by 2020
  • By 2019, 1.9 billion smart home devices are expected to be shipped, which could bring a potential revenue worth $490 billion
  • 968,000 smart clothes made it to consumers in 2015. This number is expected to grow to 24.75 billion by 2021—a CAGR of 71.6%.
  • More than two-thirds of consumers are likely to purchase IoT devices for their homes by 2019. Nearly half say the same for wearable tech. Of all the devices, smart thermostats are projected to make it to 43% adoption rate in the next 5 years.
  • Smart kitchens will contribute minimum 15% savings in the food and beverage industry by 2020
  • In 2016, 28.3 million units of wearable IoT devices made it to the market. According to IDC forecasts, this number will rise to 82.5 million by 2020.

So, how many connected devices are in your home? I found adding them up to be a neat and fast little exercise. Make it even more interesting by comparing that number to what it would’ve been five years ago, or what you project it will be two to three years down the road.

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