Gartner: 1.6bn ‘Things’ To Be Connected To Smart Cities In 2016

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1.6 billion ‘things’ will be connected be the end of next year, Gartner report predicts

City-dwellers around the world will see their homes and workplaces become significantly more intelligent as 2016 sees more and more items get connected to the Internet of Things, according to new predictions from Gartner.

The analyst firm has estimated that 1.6 billion ‘things’ will be connected up to larger smart city infrastructure by the end of next year as the benefits become greater than ever.

This marks a 39 percent increase from this year’s total of connected things, as companies and organisations from all industrial sectors become part of interconnected urban environments.

At work

tech city abstract image © Dvpodt ShutterstockThis growth will be spearheaded by smart commercial buildings, Gartner predicts, as retail environments benefit from a wide range of positive brought by the Internet of Things, ranging from customer tracking to smart security.

Energy-efficient items such as LED lighting will also help boost these numbers, as companies race to keep up with new guidelines on building maintenance and efficiency targets set down by governments.

“Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development,” said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner. “The U.K.’s building information modelling (BIM) mandate, for example, requires that all public sector construction commencing in 2016 complies with BIM (level 2).”

At home

smart homesHowever from 2017, this leading position will be overtaken by smart homes, as more consumers look to connect up their households with items such as smart thermostats and security systems.

By 2018, smart homes will make up over one billion connected ‘things’, Gartner predicts, as smart homes record the highest increase over the next five years to grow from the current 21 percent share in 2016.

“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 Ms. Tratz-Ryan.

Smart home growth is also being fuelled by consumer items such as smart TVs, smart set-top boxes, smart bulbs, and various home automation tools such as smart thermostats, home security systems 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,” said Ms. Tratz-Ryan.

A recent survey by GfK found that 91 percent of people said that they were aware of the term ‘smart home’, with two thirds (65 percent) having knowledge about the term and the technology surrounding it, with many highlighting the benefits that connected homes can bring.

And almost half (47 percent) of the respondents said that the technology will have more impact on their lives than wearable devices (31 percent).

A further report from analyst house Juniper predicted that consumer spending on smart homes and their associated products is set to skyrocket and reach $100bn (£65bn) within the next five years, as this growth will push the number of connected appliances in smart homes to over 20 million by 2020.

Among TechWeekEurope readers, 80 percent have either adopted IoT applications or plan to, but home use is outpacing that of the office.

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