How big is the connected devices universe? Analyst ABI Research reckons the Internet of Things contains some 10 billion+ wireless connected devices today. But it’s predicting this figure will triple in size to more than 30 billion devices in an Internet of Everything by 2020, as more and more objects are plugged into the network. The figures come from new ABI research published today.
The firm says the standardisation push behind ultra-low power wireless technologies is “one of the main enablers” of this Internet of Everything — which already contains such curios as the Hapifork and keyless entry systems that let you open your front door from an app. ABI analyst Peter Cooney notes that while 10 billion devices might sound like a lot, there are still many years before the IoE “reaches its full potential” — whatever that means.
“The next 5 years will be pivotal in its growth and establishment as a tangible concept to the consumer,” says Cooney in a statement.
ABI says a range of wireless technologies — including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Cellular and RFID, plus many others — are all important to driving growth in smart connected devices, but says the “long-term expansion of the market” depends on wireless technology “becoming invisible so that the consumer will be oblivious to which technology is used and only know that it works.”
And while “hub devices” — namely smartphones, tablets and laptops — are the enablers of the IoE ecosystem (such as the iPad being used as the hub for a smart connected kitchen scales, for instance), ABI sees future growth in this network being driven by “node or sensor type devices,” as device-makers start to think about connecting more of the things more of the time, not just things that are in close proximity to people some of the time.
ABI predicts that by 2020 nodes/sensors will account for the majority (60 percent) of the total installed base of IoE devices. Personal connected mobile devices will still be “an essential building block,” however.