The Internet of Things (or IoT) links formerly isolated objects -- think thermostats, cars, refrigerators, etc. -- to the Internet. All that connectivity allows devices to communicate with each other, provides us with vast amounts of previously inaccessible data, and does handy things like, for example, warn businesses when equipment is about to break down.
The IoT has been around for years, but the recent proliferation of low-cost sensors has made it easier and more affordable to bring all sorts of new things online. Here are a few facts that show how big this tech trend really is, and why investors should be paying attention.
1. You can measure the IoT's worth in the trillions of dollars.
By 2025, the global worth of IoT devices, revenues, and cost-savings is expected to reach $6.2 trillion. The healthcare industry is forecast to account for the largest fraction of that at $2.5 trillion, with manufacturing close behind at $2.3 trillion.
2. Two years from now, there will be over 200 billion connected devices.
According to Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), there were 15 billion connected IoT devices in 2015, but the chipmaker calculates that number will jump to more than 200 billion by 2020.