Connected device connections are set to quadruple in the next four years, with wearables such as the Apple Watch playing a key role, new figures show
The growing interest in Internet-connected devices is to contribute to a “monumental” increase in “Internet of Things” (IoT) data links over the next four years, according to a new study.
IT market consultancy 451 Research predicted that IoT mobile data and machine-to-machine connections would rise fourfold from 252 million last year to 908 million in 2019, as enterprises tap into the benefits of “virtualising the physical world”.
The expected growth is due in part to falling hardware and bandwidth costs, as well as the development of of cloud-based middleware and data platforms that companies can use to analyse data from connected devices on a massive scale and at low cost, 451 said.
In addition, businesses are aggressively looking into ways that IoT and machine-to-machine networking can boost competitiveness and allow for the development of new business models, the consultancy said.
“This buzz has generated a massive amount of M&A activity,” 451 said in a statement.
The company expects connected passenger vehicles and home devices such as smart meters to lead the market in connection volumes, with emerging offerings such as “pay as you drive” insurance growing the fastest.
Connected devices are likely to spread in retail and government, enabling strategies such as smart cities, digital signage, mobile points of sale and connected kiosks, according to 451 research vice president Brian Partridge.
“We continue to be bullish that ultimately the hype of IoT will be proven to be warranted back on business impact,” he stated.
Smart watches in the enterprise
Further emphasising the speed at which the IoT market is developing, 451 found in a separate report that 39 percent of US IT decision-makers at companies planning to use wearable technologies plan to deploy the systems within the next six months, with 24 percent planning to deploy in the next 12 months.
Eighty-one percent of those planning to deploy in the next six months favour smart watches, according to the report, titled “Time for Work: Smart Watch App Development Turns to the Enterprise”, which argues that the recently introduced Apple Watch has “opened the flood gates” to the adoption of wearable devices.
The company said wearables appear likely to form a key way of connecting to the wider range of industrial connected devices, which 451 terms the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
“Wearables have the potential to become an interface – if not the interface – for IIoT access,” said 451 analyst Ryan Martin, in a statement.
How well do you know Apple? Take our quiz.