By 2020, it is estimated that the number of connected devices will exceed 50 billion. These devices will come in all shapes and sizes.
- More than two thirds of consumers say that they plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019, and nearly half say the same for wearable technology. 
- Smart thermostats are expected to have 43% adoption in the next five years. 
- The number of cars connected to the Internet worldwide is slated to grow more than sixfold to 152 million in 2020 from 23 million in 2013. 
- The installed base of smart meters is expected to grow from 313 million worldwide in 2013 to nearly 1.1 billion in 2022. 
- There will be over 100 million Internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps worldwide by 2020, up from 2.4 million in 2013. 
- It is estimated that the global wearables market will grow at a compound annual rate of 35% over the next five years, reaching 148 million units shipped annually in 2019, up from 33 million units shipped in 2015. 
The rise of new digital tools, sensors and connected devices opens the door for a new era of more efficient and responsive government, driven by real-time data. When used effectively, these new technologies can produce cost-savings, bolster civic engagement, and strengthen public health and safety. The Internet of Things (IoT) will also drive new economic opportunity and business development, centered around the creation, analysis and intelligent use of these data feeds.
If left unchecked, the expansion of connected devices also carries significant risks, particularly in the area of privacy and data security. Mitigating this risk requires that government play a hands-on role in establishing consumer protection standards and monitoring the expansion of IoT.
Header Photo Credit: Unnamed image by Stefan Georgl, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Cropped from original.
 National Cable & Telecommunications Association, March 2015. “Behind The Numbers: Growth in the Internet of Things.” Available at: https://www.ncta.com/platform/broadband-internet/behind-the-numbers-growth-in-the-internet-of-things/ Acquity Group, “2014 Internet of Things (IoT) Study.” Available at: http://bit.ly/1vjygHK Ibid.
 IHS Automotive via Automotive News, January 2014, “The race to market the connected car.” Available at: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140110/OEM06/301109910/the-race-to-market-the-connected-car Navigant Research, November 2013, “Smart meters.” Available at: http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/smart-meters ON World, November 2013, “Smart Wireless Lighting.” Available at: http://onworld.com/news/100-Million-Internet-Connected-LED-Lights-by-2020.html Business Insider, May 2015, “Wearables Report.” Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-wearable-computing-market-report-2014-10#ixzz3con6HUzh