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Consumers' fridges to go shopping.

Smart technology will mean that consumers household fridges could soon do the shopping meaning a potential explosion in home delivery services.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Consumers' fridges to go shopping.

The consumer ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) will grow to encompass almost 16 billion connectable devices worldwide by 2020, according to the recent report, Internet 3.0: the Internet of Things, from Analysys Mason.

“16 billion connectable consumer devices by 2020 may actually be a conservative estimate. Taking into account the uncertainties inherent in forecasting new technologies 10 years out, we believe that a realistic maximum number of devices may be 44 billion, and 6 billion a realistic minimum,” said Jim Morrish, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason and author of the report. “That’s a worldwide average of between 0.8 and 5.8 devices for each person alive in 2020.”

The roots of the emerging IOT market lie in industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) systems. As the prices of M2M communications equipment have fallen, manufacturers have installed the technology in an increasing amount of consumer energy meters (known as ‘smart meters’), and have started to install it in a range of household equipment, cars and security systems.

An individual consumer’s window into the IOT is likely to take the form of a smartphone handset. Behind that handset will sit aggregation and filtering functions, management and control functions, and the actual devices that constitute the consumer IOT.

“The most direct potential consequence of the IOT is the generation of huge quantities of data. In a hypothetical IOT environment, every physical object (and many virtual objects) may have a virtual twin in ‘the cloud’, which could be generating regular updates,” said Morrish, who also leads Analysys Mason’s Mobile Content and Applications research programme.

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