2019 Edition: 15 Fascinating Facts About the Internet of Things

Thu, Jan, 24, 2019 @ 11:01 AM

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Updated: Jan 24, 2019

This is an update to a previous blog - 2017: 20 Fascinating Facts about The Internet of Things

The tireless expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) really is a fascinating spectacle to witness firsthand. For one, the technology and it's rapid adoption are driving the 4th industrial revolution in front of our very eyes. For another, IoT devices are fundamentally changing how human beings interact with even the most basic technologies.

What is IoT, precisely? For the uninitiated, the IoT refers to billions of devices around the world that are connected to the internet and sharing data. What sort of devices? Anything and everything, from refrigerators to thermostats to the car in your garage. Here's another definition from TechTarget:

"The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction."

Through 2018, the adoption of IoT technologies has continued at record place. For better or worse, IoT-connected devices already outnumber humans on the planet, and this trend is only expected to continue. For this reason, we've put together the following fascinating facts about IoT, updated for 2019:

Usage & Growth

75 Billion IoT Devices by 20251. As of 2015, a total of 15.41 billion devices were connected to the internet. Thanks to new wireless technologies and other IoT-related advancements that number will balloon to 75 billion devices by 2025. That represents an increase of 487%.


2. By 2008, the number of devices connected to the internet exceeded the number of human beings on the planet. In 2003, the ratio of connected devices to living human beings 
was .08 : 1. As of 2018 that ratio is nearly 6 : 1. 

3.rfid growth stats RFID tags are essential components of most industrial IoT systems. As demand for such industrial systems continues to grow, so to will the market for RFID technologies. By some estimates, the RFID market that was worth $12.6 billion in 2015 will double in value to $24.5 billion by 2020.

4. The demand for internet-connected vehicles is growing dramatically as well. AT&T is currently one of the largest players in that market. Out of the 48.2 million devices AT&T reported having on their network at the beginning of 2019, 24 million of these were cars.

Data Volume

5. Cisco recently estimated that by 2019 IoT devices will generate more than 500 zettabytes of data per year.

In case you're curious, a zettabyte is equal to one billion terabytes, or one trillion gigabytes. Here's another way to visualize a zettabyte, from Engadget:

"...you can alternatively think of it as the equivalent of 250 billion DVDs, 36 million years of HD video, or the volume of the Great Wall of China if you allow an 11oz cup of coffee to represent a gigabyte of data..."

Security

6. According to the 2018 State of IoT Security Report by Gemalto, only 59% of companies are encrypting all customer data they collect

7. That same report found that fewer than half of reporting companies felt confident they could detect every breach of an IoT device on their networks.Chartmk3

8. Finally, at least 30% of all respondents agreed the following were major challenges to deploying IoT-based products and services:

  • Ensuring data privacy
  • Dealing with the large amount of data IoT devices collect
  • Balancing user experience with sufficient cybersecurity

Efficiency

9. According to Caterpillar Inc., IoT systems embedded in its newest construction vehicles can help raise operator efficiency by 45%

10. IoT devices are finding widespread use in farming as well. A smart greenhouse that uses IoT sensors and automation is up to 30% more energy efficient than a standard greenhouse over a 20 year period. 

Economy

11. According to a recent estimate by Accenture, Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices alone could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

12.The value of the IIoT market itself is already $123 billion

Healthcare

13. IoT represents a bit of a paradox for the healthcare industry. On one hand, IoT connectivity means that physicians will have more real-time information about a patient's condition. On the other hand, today's IoT devices are often lacking in cybersecurity, meaning hackers could compromise essential hospital systems with the click of a mouse. That said, 87% of healthcare organizations will have adopted IoT-based systems by 2020

14. Even as recently as 2017, only 51% of device makers and 44% of healthcare organizations follow current Food and Drug Administration guidance to reduce inherent security risks in medical devices.

15. Despite the cybersecurity risks inherent to using the current generation of IoT healthcare devices, expect adoption rates to keep increasing. According to a 2016 study by ACT, 86% of clinicians say mobile apps will be central to patient healthcare by 2020.

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