Gartner has forecast that 6.4 billion ‘things’ will be in use worldwide in 2016, an increase of 30 percent from this year, with 5.5 million new things to be connected every day.
The analyst firm also predicts that this number will grow to 20.8 billion by 2020.
The market for IoT-supported services is expected to reach US$235 billion ($333 billion) in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015. However, this growth is expected to be eclipsed by connectivity services and consumer services.
Hardware spending on consumer devices is expected to reach US$546 billion, while US$868 billion will be spent on enterprise devices in 2016.
Consumer ‘things’ are expected to make up the lion’s share of Gartner’s 2016 prediction.
Cross-industry and vertical-specific ‘things’ make up the remainder, but Gartner predicts that the proliferation of cross-industry devices will increase more rapidly towards 2020.
“Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices,” said Jim Tully, VP and distinguished Gartner analyst.
“By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise.”