Think the net neutrality debate is all about streaming videos? Think again. It’s actually much more than that: It’s about streaming your life. Internet connectivity might seem ubiquitous today, between the use of PCs, mobile devices, and smart TVs, but there are major swaths of daily life that aren’t connected yet that soon will become so, such as homes and cars, according to a new eMarketer report, “Key Digital Trends for Midyear 2014: The Internet of Things, Net Neutrality, and Why Marketers Need to Care.”
Connecting all the unconnected devices, machines and systems will involve vast numbers of new internet-enabled objects and large sums of money. In a relatively untapped market with seemingly limitless potential, forecasts tend toward the sky-high:
- International Data Corporation predicts the worldwide market for “internet of things” (IoT) solutions will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.
“There's no doubt the world is moving toward a more connected future, but the speed with which consumers and enterprises make the transition to the internet of things is still to be determined,” said Noah Elkin, executive editor at eMarketer. “The timing of adoption will determine just how much money and how many things are involved.” There is no standard definition for the “internet of things” (IoT). The term generally denotes an advanced level of networked connectivity between objects, platforms, systems and services that enables the exchange of data without human intervention. The premise behind the IoT is that any object, whether natural or manufactured, can gain the ability to transmit data over a network.