This year will mark the time that the number of Internet-connected things passes the number of people on earth.
A new forecast says there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year, an increase of 31% from last year.
That’s roughly a billion more than the world population of 7.5 billion.
This is hardly the peak of IoT device growth. In three years, the number of IoT devices will reach 20 billion, based on the latest forecast by Gartner.
The consumer segment is the largest, with 5 billion connected things projected for this year. This represents 63% of the overall number of applications in use. Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes.
The number of consumer IoT devices tops all other categories and the dollar amounts are huge. Consumer spending on smart devices will total $725 billion this year and, combined with business spending, will reach almost $3 trillion by 2020.
It’s not just the smart devices that draw the money flow. IoT services, such as professional, consumer and connectivity services, are on pace to reach $273 billion this year.
The large numbers, both in devices used and dollars changing hands, are yet another indicator of the scope of the transformation coming with the Internet of Things.