The numbers are officially getting crazy. Recently, Machina Research released a study estimating that the Internet of Things (IoT) global market will reach $4.3 trillion (yes that is trillion, spelled with a ‘T’) by 2024. While that sum of money is certainly impressive in print, it begins to feel surreal if you try to think about it practically.
For instance, try pondering $1 trillion in these terms:
- If you spent $1 million every day since the beginning of the year 0, you would not have spent $1 trillion by this point in time.
- If you placed a trillion 1 dollar bills end to end, it would stretch further than the distance between the earth and the sun.
- With $1 trillion, you could buy Apple and every team from every major professional sports league in the U.S. and still have money left over.
The truth is, without these kinds of aids, trillions of dollars go beyond the powers of human comprehension. The future size of the IoT market is essentially too big to attempt to fathom.
What is far easier to understand, however, is the impact the IoT can have on our lives. For instance, wearable technology can help parents track their children to ensure they are safe walking home from school, or help cardiologists more accurately monitor their patients’ health. The IoT can also make cities smart by connecting various systems—like electricity grids and traffic light networks—thereby creating more efficient, sustainable urban areas.
The IoT enables more effective building automation security by allowing for remote control of alarm systems, biometric scanning technologies and smart lock systems that can detect break-ins. And of course, the IoT is behind all of the cool M2M consumer products hitting the market these days, including smart cups, Smart liquor bottles, connected gardening tools, learning-enabled thermostats, smart dishwashers and washing machines, and much more.
The IoT may be growing faster than we can comprehend, but its many use cases and applications are conceivably exciting to think about.