The Internet of Things is a concept whereby any item can connect to the Internet to retrieve information to enhance its intrinsic value. The scope of the Internet of Things (IoT) is therefore very broad. It includes communicating devices and M2M but it aims to go beyond M2M by enabling any object to connect and leverage the Internet (Internet of Objects – IoO) even if it does not contain the electronics required to connect directly to the Internet; it connects to the internet with the use of an intermediate device.
According to this definition, 15 billion things (machines, connected devices and objects) were connected to the Internet in 2012, up from 4 billion in 2010. According to Samuel Ropert, project leader of this report “In 2020, there will be 80 billion where IoO will represent 85% of the total IoT, ahead of communicating devices with 11% and M2M with only 4%.” In terms of growth, IoO still leads with a 41% CAGR between 2010 and 2020, followed by communicating devices with 22% CAGR and M2M with 16% CAGR.
The Internet of Things encompasses multiple and heterogeneous building blocks. Underlying M2M and IoO run over different hardware and communication technologies. While RFID and 2D barcodes are used to interact with objects in the IoO concept, M2M application will rely on several different networking technologies that allow the machine to communicate and transmit the data it has generated (or is meant to receive, depending on the application and the machine). While cellular technology is often selected for M2M deployments, new communication technologies (better designed for traditional metering M2M applications) have entered the market in recent years and could act as game changers in the near future (SigFox, Neul, etc). Nevertheless, implementing an open Internet of Things requires a new kind of architecture with scalable naming and addressing (ONS) technologies and new sustainable tools to access the data, as the Internet of Things is designed to browse vast (M2M and IoO) databases.
M2M and IoO are driven by vertical markets and will therefore be impacted by vertical environments,but adoption levels vary between the different vertical industries. Business maturity also varies considerably from one industry to another. Indeed, both M2M and IoO applications rely on cost-saving objectives for users, so ROI time is critical. Implementation is not always geared to the same objectives. While the textile industry targets item-level deployments for inventory, manufacturing-type industries like automotive and aeronautics use RFID for quality processes across the supply chain where different parts are assembled to form a finished product (only the RTI is tagged, not the part itself). The leading verticals in terms of connected objects (IoO) will be the pharmaceutical and textile industries by 2020.
IDATE has published its report on the Internet of Things market and has been recognized, based on the capabilities of its specialized investigation teams, as a reliable resource for tracking telecom, Internet and media markets.