The IoT Wave Is Coming

November 12, 2015
Enlighted Inc.

Gartner Predicts 1 Million New IoT Devices Per Hour by 2021

Expectations for a global digital transformation led by the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to grow. Darryl Plummer, a Fellow from America’s respected technology research and advisory firm Gartner, recently listed the firm’s top 10 predictions for tech in 2016 and beyond.

The predictions contained many of the usual suspects including increased automation and artificial intelligence as well as a larger role for robotics and autonomous machines in economic transactions.

One prediction stood out for the far-reaching scope and magnitude of its impact:

Gartner predicted that by 2021, one million new IoT devices will come online every hour of every day. This is a staggering number of smart devices and it hints at the brave new world we’ll inhabit have within just a few short years. Smart lights, workstations, buildings, homes, cities, ports, transit, grids, consumer products and more are coming online rapidly.


Think of the rate of growth of this market. There are about 7.3 billion people on earth today, which is expected to grow to about 7.7 billion by 2021. Today there is only 1 IoT device for every six people. In just five years, 5 of 7 people will have them. Given that these technologies tend to start in developed countries, it is far more likely that nearly everybody in the U.S. will have IoT managing their cars, health, homes and offices.

These new devices are considered smart because they are equipped with sensors that connect them both to the world around them and to the Internet. And it is these millions upon millions of smart devices that will continue to makeup the technological foundation of the rapidly emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

But IoT is much more than just connected devices. It is what becomes possible once the local data generated by these devices is shared anonymously with central repositories for others to use in creative ways. Some examples: Fitbit gathers data that allows people around the world to compare health and fitness results and for software developers to build new applications on top of this data. Tesla does the same, but for vehicles and transportation.

The full extent of how this data will be used is the real mystery and allure of IoT. More connected devices means more real-time data from the world around us. Data that can be leveraged to save money and lives in healthcare. Data that can improve people’s experience of place in commercial environments. Data that can optimize business outcomes in every type of commercial space and workplace.

As millions more devices from all fields of human endeavor come online, more possibility for inter and intra-systemic communication and collaboration become possible. Where this will take us is still uncertain, but the possibilities are exciting. Whether it’s Star Trek-like tricorders that scan for illness or disease, self-driving cars that can talk to the buildings where they are picking up passengers, or cities that monitor infrastructure for malfunction, the future of IoT is bright.

Enlighted is proud to be part of the IoT revolution. Ours advanced sensors are installed throughout commercial spaces. They generate data on heat, light, occupancy, and – in the case of mobile physical assets – location. Like all IoT-enabled platforms, they share local sensor data anonymously with a central repository so that higher order software applications can harvest it for insights and optimizations – in our case these optimization are in the use of light, heat, and space.

Our technology evolves through application and some of our greatest learning and advances are in response to the creative ways that customers use our IoT platform. Whether it is to track medical equipment in hospitals to save lives. To improve order processing times in warehouses and save money. Or to increase people’s comfort and efficiency in commercial spaces – improving productivity and business outcomes.

1 million new IoT devices per hour is a dizzying. This will mean millions of new streaming data points waking up into the world in real-time—and entire ecosystems of information and activity will grow in response to many of them. At Enlighted we welcome this and are excited to contribute to this new reality as it emerges.

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