|7 December 2015|

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the multi-trillion dollar economy revolutionising the way we live.

Like a caveman adapting to life in downtown Tokyo, the learning curve ahead may be somewhat steep but the opportunities for advancement are endless.

Cities are getting smarter every day through the increasing interconnection of people, things and products communicating via the internet.

Barcelona is leading the way as an example of what a smart city can achieve for its citizens. The Catalan capital is finding “solutions to improve water management, waste management, parking and public transportation”.

It is setting the pace for others to follow.

One of the world’s world’s leading information technology research and advisory companies, Gartner, has published analysis today which estimates that 1.6 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2016, an increase of 39% from 2015 (see Table 1).

“Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over 1 billion connected things in 2018,” said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner.

 

Table 1. Connected Things Installed Base Within Smart Cities (in Millions)

Smart City Subcategory 2015 2016 2017 2018
Healthcare  3.4  5.3  8.4 13.4
Public Services  78.6  103.6  133.1 167.4
Smart Commercial Buildings  377.3  518.1  733.7 1,064.8
Smart Homes  174.3  339.1  621.8 1,073.7
Transport  276.9  347.5  429.2 517.4
Utilities  260.6  314.0  380.6 463.5
Others  8.6  13.3  20.8 32.3
Total  1,179.7  1,641.0  2,327.7 3,332.5

Source: Gartner (December 2015)

 

By 2018 Gartner estimates that IoT deployment in commercial buildings will exceed 1 billion.

“Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development,” said Bettina.

The pace of change in smart homes is accelerating through increased use of devices like smart bulbs, TVs, thermostats and kitchen appliances.

“The growing maturity of smart home platforms through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors will mean that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018,” added Bettina.

By 2016 smart homes will account for 21% of total IoT use in smart cities, according to Gartner.

“Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled — an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience,” added Betina.

Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney recently revealed figures that show major multi-million pound investments are being made to support smart city initiatives across the country.

“These investments are delivering major improvements to business connectivity and providing better links between our cities and centres of economic growth. This is a long-term approach and I have every confidence that there will be more to come in future years,” he said.

The IoT tech expo Europe being held at the Olympia, London, from 10 to 11 February next year, will bring together some of the key industries and innovators involved in designing and creating tomorrow’s world today.

Innovators magazine is an official partner of the London showcase and we have two gold passes to give away to the event. For a chance to win just follow us on twitter @innovatorsmag to be entered into our prize draw.