The number of people residing in cities is projected to increase from upwards to 6.3 billion people by 2050. A major portion of this growth is expected to occur in the developing countries such as India, China, and several countries in Africa. It is predicted that competition to build innovative and sustainable Smart Cities will cause local government spending to amount to more than 25% of all government external spending on IoT initiatives like connected objects and services by 2018.
However, it is important to ask: “What does this mean?” This is not a factious comment as one needs to define what is intended by expenditures within IoT and within the Smart City. As we mentioned earlier, and it bears repeating: There are many technologies/solutions converging together with many resources and supply/demand factors. It is therefore extremely difficult to set a meaningful measure of a given market opportunity for any one industry vertical such as sanitation. IoT include things such as:
• Physical Objects: Personal Devices (Smartphones, Tablets, PC), Home Devices (Smart Home Devices, Connected TV), Automotive, Industrial, wearable
• Services: Online Services of various types
By way of example, Mind Commerce anticipates substantial growth in many connected device areas including Smart Home as depicted below:
While the above forecast is helpful to place a current context with respect to the existing objects that comprise IoT, it is important to note that there will be many, many more objects longer-term. These objects include Wearable Technology (mentioned earlier) as well as many objects that are not within the direct control of consumers.
One of the key limiting factors to growth of IoT beyond existing objects is that many envisioned use cases involve low value. There is a need for improvements in both on the demand side (higher valued use-cases) and the supply side (lower cost of inputs for IoT by way of less expensive components and service costs).