An Update on the State of the Internet of Things

An Update on the State of the Internet of Things

Most of you know by now that I am obsessed with the Internet of Things. Here is an update on the state of the industry.

Fairly regularly, I mention my fanboy-like infatuation with the concept (and advances in the industry) of the Internet of Things. After all, when you look at the market potential, the theoretical applications and some practical implementations that have been presented to date, can you really blame me?

State of the Internet of Things

Every so often, I like to look around the industry and see what major announcements have been made, what research has been conducted and get an overall update on what’s happening with the IoT. Here is some of what I have read and discovered as of late.

Projections are Huge

Based on certain studies and analyses of the state of the industry today as compared to where its headed (and at what rate) the market for the Internet of Things is going to be a pretty substantial space. That isn’t all that surprising when we consider the fact that virtually anything can be a part of the Internet of Things. Unlike a lot of emerging and new markets, there are no constraints with regards to the scope of what might be involved.

Certain projections (and there are a lot that vary pretty significantly) conclude that by 2020 (in just five years) there will be anywhere from 24 billion to 50 billion connected devices in the world (up from an already impressive 10 billion today), and that over two thirds of those devices will be IoT devices. Let’s remind ourselves again that IoT isn’t just smartphones and tablets, so it isn’t all that inconceivable that the average person has 5-10 IoT devices (anywhere on their person or in their home).

On top of that, projections suggest that we might see investments as high as $6 trillion into the IoT industry over the next five years.

Business Will Lead the Charge

As with most things (and as we’ve seen to date) the investment in and adoption of IoT devices and practices starts with big organizations and slowly makes its way into every day society.

Of course, early on, a lot of this has to do with the fact that there are high barriers to entry (in terms of integrating IoT applications in several fields) and among those barriers is the prohibitive costs involved. But as those costs have decreased, we’ve seen more brands and organizations moving towards IoT-enabled practices, and a major reason for that has been improved efficiency.

Though we don’t have long-term studies yet that prove this assumption empirically, it is hard to deny the benefits of IoT when it comes to improved productivity. Smart devices are smart for a reason – they make life (and work) easier. As more businesses factor in the savings and increased output that IoT applications can generate, we will surely see a greater (and much faster-paced) adoption of IoT across multiple industries.

Adoption is Happening Fast

14 countries already have more than a 10% market saturation for IoT-enabled devices. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a study this year that found that South Korea currently has the most IoT devices, with a saturation of 37.9% (37.9 devices per 100 inhabitants) and thirteen other countries saw rates of over 10 devices per 100 inhabitants.

There were also several countries – namely Brazil, Japan and Australia – that were very close to that 10% saturation. All in all, 24 countries were studied, and there is no sign of this rapid adoption and integration into every day life slowing down (see the five-year projections above).

Connected Driving

One industry that is on the war path to get connected is the auto industry. There are only a few brands that currently connect you to the Internet (some luxury, like Tesla, and more and more overarching brands, like GMC).

It is estimated that the option currently exists in about 10% of vehicles, but in the next few years (again, looking towards that 2020 goal) we can expect 90% of (new) vehicles to have Internet connectivity.


As is often the case when I write an IoT article, I could easily carry on for another few thousand words filled with updates and fun facts (for example, some potential market value estimates value the IoT market at over $19 trillion) but these are some of the more crucial (big picture) highlights we should be aware of when it comes to this space.

Five years is a pretty short timeframe to see all of these estimates come to fruition, but the pace at which the market is currently evolving, it is certainly not out of the question.

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Corey Padveen is a data-oriented marketing professional with a focus on statistical analyses of human behavior. This specialization has led him to speak and present at dozens of conferences around the world, to write for a variety of reputable online and print publications, and recently, to publish ‘Marketing to Millennials For Dummies’ as part of the world-renowned ‘For Dummies’ series. He regularly shares real world examples and findings from his research, and discusses how members of society are evolving as consumers, communicators, and a global network as a whole.
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