By 2020 the number of PCs, tablets and smartphones connected to the internet will be about 7.3 billion units, leaving nearly 19 billion IoT clients of which many will be autonomous devices that once set up require no human intervention to communicate over the internet.
"By 2020, component costs will have come down to the point that connectivity will become a standard feature, even for processors costing less than $1. This opens up the possibility of connecting just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex, to offer remote control, monitoring and sensing," said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner, in a statement.
As a result Gartner expects that "ghost" devices with unused connectivity will be common. This will be a combination of products that have the capability built in but require software to "activate" it and products with IoT functionality that consumer customers do not actively leverage. Away from the consumer sector there will be a wide range of IoT products, said Gartner. This will include: advanced medical devices; factory automation sensors and applications in industrial robotics; sensor motes for increased agricultural yield; and automotive sensors and infrastructure integrity monitoring systems for diverse areas, such as road and railway transportation, water distribution and electrical transmission.
"As product designers dream up ways to exploit the inherent connectivity that will be offered in intelligent products, we expect the variety of devices offered to explode," added Middleton. Gartner estimates the incremental IoT supplier revenue related to IoT in 2020 – hardware, software and services – to be worth $309 billion.
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