Some 6.4 billion connected "things" will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30% from this year, according to a new report from Gartner Inc.
In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day, and total connected things will reach 20.8 billion by 2020, the report says. Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015.
Such services are dominated by the professional category, in which companies contract with external providers to design, install and operate IoT systems. But connectivity services from communications service providers and consumer services will grow at a faster rate.
"IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organizations and vendors," Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.
"Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprise will account for the largest spending," Tully said.
In the enterprise, Gartner considers two classes of connected things. The first is generic or cross-industry devices used in multiple industries, and vertical-specific devices found in particular industries. The second includes vertical-specific devices such as specialized equipment used in hospitals, tracking devices in container ships and many others.
"Connected things for specialized use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices,” Tully said. “By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise."
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