According to research firm Gartner, there will be around 4.9 billion "connected things" in circulation worldwide by the end of 2015. That number is expected to soar to 25 billion by 2020.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is here and will rapidly become the norm, according to the research firm. As applications of the technology increase, the number of connected consumer devices in use is expected to skyrocket from 2.8 billion in 2015 to over 13 billion in 2020.
The automotive industry will be another key vector of the IoT trend, as the number of in-vehicle connected objects is slated to increase tenfold in just five years, going from 372 million in 2015 to 3.5 billion in 2020. Finally, Gartner's analysts anticipate a similar boom in connected devices for the enterprise sector, which it estimates will number 1.6 billion in 2015 and over 8.3 billion five years later.
"The number of connected intelligent devices will continue to grow exponentially, giving 'smart things' the ability to sense, interpret, communicate and negotiate, and effectively have a digital 'voice'," said Gartner vice president and analyst Steve Prentice.