Sometime between 2008 and 2009, the number of devices online surpassed the number of people, giving rise to the Internet of Things (IoT), an ever-expanding ecosystem of smart devices that use wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technology to communicate with each other and with business systems.

From smart buildings, homes and meters to connected cars, livestock and crops, the IoT is already transforming industries as diverse as energy, automobile manufacturing and agriculture. Others, including healthcare, retail—and insurance—are on the verge.

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