smart_cities_apps

20.05.2015

Billions of connected devices are coming… Do you know what form they’ll take?

Image | Domoalert Smart Life Quality

The future and the present of mobile technology revolves around connected devices. An Internet connection is no longer restricted to computers and now can be found in tablets, smartphones, wearables….and also in intelligent devices in the home. This intelligent ecosystem runs parallel to another phenomenon, that of intelligent cities, which will, according to several estimates, experience spectacular growth in the coming years.

A report from the American consulting firm Gartner suggests that intelligent homes and commercial buildings will represent 45% of the total of connected “things” by the end of 2015. Bettina Tratz-Ryan, vice president of research at Gartner, says that  “intelligent cities represent a great opportunity for technology and service providers, but that they should start to plan their products and position themselves in the market as soon as possible”.

The study from Gartner estimates that in 2015 alone intelligent cities will make use of 1.1 billion connected things — a number that will rise to 9.7 billion in the span of five years.

Gadgets for houses, buildings and transportation will dominate the market

smart_cities_figures

Image | Gartner

The analysis from Gartner looks at the different categories that will form part of the ecosystem of the cities of the future. Even though as the above table shows in 2015 several categories will be more or less equal in terms of the amount of devices on the market, Gartner estimates that the situation will change substantially in the next two years.

The intelligent homes sector will be the one that grows the most, driven principally by the houses themselves. It is projected that there will be more than 1 billion connected things by the end of the year. These will include objects such as intelligent LED lighting, health monitoring, intelligent locks and different types of sensors for detecting movement in the buildings.

In the case of the LED lighting it is expected that over 6 million units will be sold this year, and 570 million in 2020, demonstrating that smart technology and its management could entail substantial energy saving for the cities and their inhabitants.

barcelona_smart_city

Image | SmartCity.cat

Besides the products that will affect the home, intelligent cities will offer services on the streets such as the reduction of traffic flow or parking services.

We don’t have to travel very far to find examples of cities implementing these types of technologies. Barcelona and Santander have spent several years now designing systems that improve the lots of both their citizens and the institutions in charge of offering services in the cities.

Opportunities for service and analysis providers

Bettina Tratz-Ryan also says in the report that in 2020 many suppliers of technology and IoT services will have increased their profits from service-providing hardware and software  by more than 50%.

And smart cities and the devices that will live inside them will generate another big opportunity for business.

Alternative networks such as Sigfox or Veniam could be extremely useful in order to avoid overloads on traditional networks, allowing a fast and cheaper connection for the billions of devices expected to go on the market in the coming years.

The really big opportunity, according to Gartner lies in measuring everything that will be going on in the city. “Even though investment in hardware will be fundamental for the city of the future, the big business opportunity is to be found in the services and analysis sector.

Definitively, the city of the future is here and there will be profound changes at every level.