By the end of next year there will be more than six billion connected things in use across the planet, according to predictions from researchers.  Use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will rise by 30 per cent in 2016, jumping up to 6.4 billion connected things, according to IT analyst Gartner.

The firm said that in the next year, 5.5 million connected things will connect on a daily basis, and predicted that this will reach 20.8 billion IoT devices globally by 2020.

Of the total number of IoT devices, Gartner estimated that 4 billion of those in use in 2016 would be in the consumer sector, which it believes will grow faster than services commanded by the professional category.

Consumer applications are currently valued at £359 billion, and the use of IoT devices in enterprise will add up to £571 billion in 2016.

Jim Tully, Gartner’s vice president and lead analyst, believes that consumers will continue to drive IoT device sales. “Aside from connected cars, consumer uses will continue to account for the greatest number of connected things, while enterprise will account for the largest spending,” he told SC Magazine.

In enterprise, Gartner said that industries used IoT devices either as cross-sector tools the streamline procedures and save costs, or for very specific tasks in particular industries. Tully predicted that cross-industry devices are likely to grow substantially before the end of the decade.

“Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices,” Tully said.

“By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise.”

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