Home / Blog / Billions and billions of things

Billions and billions of things

In late February, the Mobile World Congress was held in Barcelona.

No, I wasn’t there, but since I’m both personally and professionally interested in the Internet of Things, I did enjoy reading about what went on there.

One article I saw – The Internet of Things: 50 Billion is Only the Beginning (by Pablo Valero, in EE Times) – cited a Cisco prediction – considered by many conference pundits to be conservative – which forecasts that:

…we will have over 50 billion connected devices by 2020. This number is considered bullish by some, but cautious by most. With almost 7 billion cellphones active in the world already, within six years we could have an almost unlimited number of connected devices.

Since the world population in 2020 is pegged at about 7.5 billion, this will translate into between six and seven devices per person. I know, I know, it doesn’t work that way.

But all I can say is that I will be responsible for more than my proportionate share of things IoT.

Anyway, this prediction of 50 billion connected devices is staggering. It’s hard to imagine. Just wow.

It’s amazing to think about what will be smart in the future, and the new sorts of things that people will be dreaming up.

One of the concerns surfaced in the article is that:

The lack of standards is one of the main barriers to mass adoption of connected devices, they agreed…Many players are developing their own M2M and IoT networks, effectively creating a Tower of Babel that will make it difficult to manage and connect all these devices.

One example of where interoperability standards are emerging is 6LoWPAN (shorthand for IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks). 6LoWPAN standards are aimed at ensuring that even small, low power devices will be able to be part of the IoT.

Fifty-billion devices participating in IoT.