The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of internet-enabled objects and devices that collect and exchange data. Some examples include wearables, smart home devices, security systems, thermostats, intelligent transportation, smart grids, and many more. They are also sometimes known as connected things or smart devices, although subtle differences exist among these consumer electronics.
The apotheosis of connectivity
Over the last years, IoT has had a powerful development, boosting the so called fourth industrial revolution. In 2021, the IoT market in Europe recorded a revenue of over 4.8 billion euros and was expected to increase to 7.8 billion euros by 2026. Instead of hindering the development of the IoT market in Europe, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic accelerated IoT investments, especially in the healthcare and retail sectors, while also raising awareness of other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) or edge computing.
Companies in almost all industries are adopting and investing in IoT solutions in order to increase efficiency, productivity, and security across their business activities. However, a successful IoT deployment strategy must take into consideration market impediments as much as benefits. The more devices a company adds to its business environment, the higher the number of different solutions required to connect everything and ensure a smooth data flow between all connected devices. Therefore, it is not surprising that smart home and wearable device manufacturers and consumer IoT service and voice assistant providers perceived the cost of technology investment to be the most important barrier when entering or expanding the IoT market in Europe. With approximately 2.5 billion IoT connections in Europe in 2020, it can be said that the phenomenon is unquestionably finding its way into our lives and homes.
Phones are not the only smart thing nowadays
The IoT market in Europe promises to become omnipresent soon. Its development over the last years led to the emergence of smart cars, smart homes, as well as smart cities. Smart homes have become a common application of IoT in people’s everyday lives, with the market revenue in Europe forecast to double from 2020 to 2024. Moreover, smart homes can report information to the occupant, such as internal and external temperature, energy usage, security alerts, or even if the occupant needs to go out and buy groceries. Revenues of various segments, such as smart security and home entertainment are also expected to increase dramatically, with the smart home security market in Europe projected to equal as much as 5.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. The most shipped smart home product category to Europe was video entertainment, which totaled over 53 million units in 2020. However, other smart home products such as smart light systems are forecast to increase to nearly 33.5 million shipments in 2025, up from seven million units in 2020.