Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group forecasts that some 25 billion devices will be connected by 2015, and up to 50 billion by 2020. On top of this nearly 2.5 billion people will come online by 2020.
The Internet of Things, i.e. uniquely identifiable objects that are connected to the internet, will impact every market sector. Although the current connected device market is dominated by the mobile phone, industry analysts are expecting that cars will become the top connected application by 2020. Meaningful growth is also expected in healthcare and medical markets, with strong performance expected in assisted living and clinical remote monitoring.
The world is moving beyond standalone devices into a new technological age in which everything is connected. Cisco is one of the leading companies operating in the in the Internet of Things space and is a pioneer in establishing the technologies, vision, and infrastructure for the networks, applications, and solutions that will power the future of non-human communications.
The initial design of the internet protocol did not anticipate the exponential growth of the internet and the exhaustion of the address space. In 2012, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) upgraded the current version of the internet protocol from Internet Protocol Version 4 to Version 6 (IPv6) to prepare for the growing number of devices with unique IP addresses that want to transmit and receive data. In addition to the expanded internet, key technology trends include device miniaturization, more powerful and lower costs microprocessors, and smart sensors, location devices and actuators.
Currently applications are focused mainly around smartphones as hubs of connectivity. However, the emerging trend is the increasing number of "smart sensors" and "smart devices" that are taking on an IP address and connecting to the internet. The result is that there are ever more complex systems and interactions.
IoT is a fledgling market and therefore predictions with respect to the market's growth and scope of the IoT domain vary widely. However, there is a broad consensus that IoT will play an increasing and critical role and will act as a change agent in all industry sectors.
The Cisco Connected Athlete solution is one example of a real-world IoT application. This solution combines the Cisco Intelligent Network and ACM Systems' sensor-driven analytics to optimize athletic performance for amateurs and professionals alike.
For more information on Cisco and the Internet of Things market, see the latest research: Cisco and the Internet of Things Market
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