IoT connected devices to reach 38.5bn globally by 2020

28 Jul 2015

The number of IoT devices in the world will accelerate to 38.5bn in the next five years, up by 285pc.

The number of internet of things (IoT) connected devices in the world is predicted to number 38.5bn by 2020 — up from 13.4bn in 2015 — a rise of more than 285pc, according to Juniper Research.

While IoT ‘smart home’ based applications grab media headlines, it is the industrial and public services sector – such as retail, agriculture, smart buildings and smart grid applications – that will form the majority of the device base.

According to a new report from Juniper, Michelin and John Deere have successfully transitioned their businesses towards being service-based companies through the use of IoT, as opposed to their previous incarnations as product vendors.

Juniper defines IoT as representing the combination of devices and software systems, connected via the internet, that produce, receive and analyse data.

The consumer and industrial IoT worlds

For service providers, the consumer segment, including the smart home, digital healthcare and connected vehicles, represents potential for a high ARPU (average revenue per user).

While the industrial sector – retail, connected buildings and agriculture – will enable higher return on investment (RoI) through more efficient business processes.

“We’re still at an early stage for IoT,” noted research author Steffen Sorrell.

“Knowing what information to gather, and how to integrate that into back-office systems remains a huge challenge.”

Phoenix city lights image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years