AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The Internet of Things is likely to include automobiles and even buildings, but the key driver in rolling out the IoT will be energy efficiency, according to chip maker NXP Semiconductors.
NXP recently staged a summit here on the topic of the IoT and projects that the opportunity is going to dwarf established market opportunities, at least in terms of units.
NXP has identified between 150 and 200 types of device we already have in the home that could be connected. "Now there are 10 billion connected devices or 1 or 2 per person. By 2020 it is predicted there will be 25 to 50 billion connected devices, said Wouter Leibbrandt, manager of the advanced applications laboratory at NXP. [Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]
Leibbrandt portrayed an Internet-connected market that only took off relatively recently and in 2003 had 1 billion connected PCs and jumped to 9 to 12 billion units in 2011 with the popularity of smartphones. But these are connections controlled by human beings. The market will grow further with machine-to-machine communications over the internet.
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After connected smartphones will come connected consumer electronics then industrial electronics then things, reckons NXP.
Light bulbs and smart meters with IP addresses are ways in which the IoT could start to penetrate the home. However, automobiles and the ability to crowd-source data could be an application where supportive business models will coincide with technical capability to allow the proliferation of IoT.