IN THE FUTURE, everything will be connected. It won’t just be our phones that access the Internet; it will be our light bulbs, our front doors, our microwaves, our comforters, our blenders. You can call it the Internet of Things, The Internet of Everything, Universal Object Interaction, or your pick of buzzwords that begin with Smart. They all hold as inevitable that everything, everything will be connected, to each other and to the Internet. And that will change the world.
Juniper research predicted that by 2020, there will be 38.5 billion connected devices. IDC says it’ll be 20.9 billion. Gartner’s guess? Twenty-five billion. The numbers don’t matter, except that they’re huge. They all agree that most of those gadgets will be industrial—the Internet of Things is less about you changing the color of your lightbulb and more about companies large and small finding new ways of making their businesses, and your life, easier and more efficient. But the market for connecting the devices you use all day, every day, is about to be huge.