Smart Cities Will Drive IoT Device Demand in 2016: Gartner

Next year, 1.6 billion connected devices will help smart cities operate a little more efficiently, predicts the research firm.

Modern metropolises and smart homes will have a big effect on the market for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies next year, predicts a new forecast from Gartner.

In 2016, smart cities will use 1.6 billion connected devices, a 39 percent increase compared to this year. In 2018, Gartner expects that figure to jump to over 3.3 billion things.

Smart commercial buildings will lead the march toward more energy-efficient operations with 518.1 million (IoT) devices installed in 2016, a healthy gain over the 377.3 million devices the IT analyst group expects for 2015. Next year, Gartner expects businesses will be increasing their investments in commercial security cameras, webcams and indoor LEDs.

Commercial real estate concerns have reason to be bullish on IoT, according to Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner. "Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent," she said in a Dec. 7 announcement.

In some areas, IoT can help builders comply with new and emerging standards. "Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development," said Ms. Tratz-Ryan. "The U.K.'s building information modelling (BIM) mandate, for example, requires that all public sector construction commencing in 2016 complies with BIM (level 2)."

Smart homes will narrowly take the lead in 2018, however. "Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over 1 billion connected things in 2018," said Tratz-Ryan.

IoT-powered home automation and security technologies, along with smart TVs, set-top boxes and smart bulbs, are fueling the smart home market, Gartner noted. "The growing maturity of smart home platforms through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors will mean that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018," said Tratz-Ryan.

Chances are that the next appliance or home theater gadget that consumers purchase will be IoT-enabled. "Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled — an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience," Tratz-Ryan said.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: Gartner, IoT, smart cities

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