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Net-enabled items to multiply


Calcutta, Dec. 15: The Internet of Things — a phrase tossed around to refer to all networked entities of daily use barring PCs, tablets and smartphones — is set to see a 30-fold jump to 26 billion installed units in 2020 against 0.9 billion in 2009, according to IT research and advisory firm Gartner.

Networked entities cover gadgets, machines as well as humans and animals. They only need to be tagged with technology to enable the transfer of data about them through the Internet. Human beings, therefore, may have a heart monitor implant or a farm animal may have a transponder in its body.

In this way, all physical objects can be seamlessly integrated into an information network and become active participants in business processes.

Take another example. Imagine someone trying to break into your house. A smart lock on the door will trigger flashing lights and a camera. The camera will take pictures of the intruder and send it to the TV you’re watching elsewhere in the house.

Such IoT products and services are expected to generate incremental revenues of more than $300 billion in 2020. Gartner expects such devices to be common because of the low cost of adding IoT capability to consumer products.

“The growth in IoT will far exceed that of other connected devices. By 2020, the number of smartphones, tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units. In contrast, IoT will have expanded at a faster rate, resulting in a population of about 26 billion units at that time,” said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner.

Companies are expected to extensively use IoT technology. Products sold to various markets could include advanced medical devices, factory automation sensors and applications in industrial robotics and infrastructure monitoring systems in areas such as road and railway transportation, water transmission and electrical transmission.

“By 2020, component costs will come down to the point that connectivity will become a standard feature even for processors costing less than $1. This opens up the possibility of connecting just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex, to offer remote control, monitoring and sensing,” Middleton said.

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