In 1992 there were around 1 million devices connected to the Internet. That’s roughly the population of San Jose. Today, there are more connected devices than there are people on our planet.
According to a Gartner report, Forecast: The Internet of Things, Worldwide, 2013, The Internet of Things (IoT) will explode to over 26 billion connected devices by 2020.
While Gartner excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, some estimates put the figure at over 50 billion connected devices - everything from your toothbrush to traffic lights.
The Conectivist have presented the IoT's explosive growth in this great video graphic:
In the IoT vision of the world, every device and physical space, from factory equipment to store inventories to clinic waiting rooms to corporate boardrooms will be connected to the Internet, feeding applications that improve collaboration, productivity and efficiency.
Imagine - once unconnected devices and physical spaces are connected autonomously, an experiential wayfinding infrastructure can be developed, that guides or creates a user experience without human intervention.
For example, parking lot sensors can communicate the availability of parking at a facility to a website or an application that feeds a turn-by-turn mapping application, which derives the most efficient route from Point A to Point B from traffic sensors. The driver using the app is guided to the nearest parking spot to his or her destination—all without human intervention.
Meanwhile, sensors in the user's vehicle could detect that a bearing is beginning to fail, communicate that fact to a dashboard application, which can alert the driver and offer turn-by-turn directions to the factory-authorized repair shop nearest his route. The shop's own application feeds information about availability of repair staff and can generate custom-designed offers for that specific customer, communicated to the dashboard application.
The explosion of The Internet of Things will help us deepen our relationships with the people in our space, by combining the dimensions of proximity, content and context to create new customer experiences.
If you want to learn more about The Internet or Things and how connected devices are contributing to creating remarkable customer experiences, download our latest white paper on experiential wayfinding.