Wednesday, October 1, 2014

'Internet of Things (IoT)' morphs into the 'Internet of Everything (IoE)'

The numbers are staggering. Gartner predicts that the total economic value add for the Internet of Things (IoT) will be $1.9 trillion dollars in 2020, spread across all industries – especially in healthcare. McKinsey Global Institute pegs the potential economic impact at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025. IDC put the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020. Cisco Systems has published a white paper entitled "Embracing the Internet of Everything (IoE) to Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion". Key to this rapidly evolving market are open standards and open source technology.


The 'Internet of Things' refers to the equipping of all physical objects in the world with some form of minuscule identifying devices or computer sensors that can be inter-connected or networked together.

However, as the sensors embedded in these 'things' are enhanced and add new capabilities like context awareness, increased data processing power, and more sophisticated communications features, what we currently refer to as the Internet of Things (IoT) is morphing into something called the Internet of Everything (IoE). The definition of these terms continue to evolve as development and implementation of the concepts and technologies move forward.

The Internet currently connects anywhere from 10 to 15 billion devices. That equates to less than 1 percent of 'things'. According to ABI Research, by 2020 more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), or the Internet of Everything (IoE). By 2050, there will be trillions of inter-connected 'things' not only all around us, but also 'inside' us.

According to McKinsey & Company, "the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) will take time, but the time line is advancing thanks to improvements in underlying technologies. Advances in wireless networking technology and the greater standardization of communications protocols make it possible to collect data from these sensors almost anywhere at any time." They peg the potential economic impact of IoT at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025.

Gartner predicts that the Internet of Everything (IoE) will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020. It is expected that the numbers related to IoE will continue to climb over the next several decades given falling costs, adoption of open standards, emergence of innovative open hardware solutions, and the growth of cloud computing.

IDC put the Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020. IDC said the installed base of things connected will be 212 billion by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion connected autonomous things. Intelligent systems will be installed and collecting data by this point.

Key Observations & Conclusions

The Internet of Things (IoT), or the Internet of Everything (IoE), is going to create new markets and a new economy for the 21st century. Estimates of the dollar value associated with IoE are all over the place – but all the figures mentioned are staggering. They run from $1.9 trillion to more then $14 trillion over the next decade.

According to a white paper by Gartner, the verticals that are leading its adoption are manufacturing (15%), healthcare (15%), and insurance (11%). 

Even as industries continue to move rapidly forward with plans to build the Internet of Everything (IoE), arguments are being made that not enough thought is being given to privacy, security, ethics, and the potential for a great number of unintended negative consequences. The need for more public debate about issues like this seems obvious, given the many recent revelations about NSA's unauthorized spying on American citizens. The potential for abuse of the technology by governments and private companies is very real.

Finally, it appears that for the Internet of Everything (IoE) to bring real value, industry should continue to adopt and build on open standards. To move things along and keep costs down, the industry should also continue to use 'open source' software such as - embedded operating systems software (Linux, Android); network infrastructure (IPv6); web software (Java, LAMP stack); cloud infrastructure (OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus); M2M software stacks (Mango, DeviceHive, Mihini); RFID software (OpenBeacon, Fostrak); database systems (Hadoop, HBase, Mongo, NoSQL).

With the Internet of Everything (IoE), we are now diving headlong into the 21st century and the 'Information Age'.  We need to be training and equipping our students to work in this new world.   P.S. - If you thought things have been changing rapidly, think again. It's about to get real wild.

Other Selected IoT / IoE Links

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