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Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30% from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Meaning 5.5 million new things will be connected every day this year.

Multiple sectors are being touted as the “driving force” behind the anticipated rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2016. Be it commercial buildings, smart homes, access control, lighting, healthcare or another, it all points to a stellar year for the Internet of Things.

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“Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things until 2017”, according to Gartner report. “After which smart homes will take the lead with just over 1 billion connected things in 2018”, said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner.

Commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation. IoT creates a unified view of facilities management as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors. Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30%.

IoT deployment in commercial buildings will continue to grow at a rapid pace over the next few years, and is on pace to reach just over 1 billion in 2018. “Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development”, said Gartner’s Tratz-Ryan. “The U.K.’s building information modelling (BIM) mandate, for example, requires that all public sector construction commencing in 2016 complies with BIM (level 2)”. BIM utilises data models coming from various information sources including IoT, which will be used by commercial real estate in the future.

Video Surveillance as well as LED Lighting is also being touted to drive total IoT growth in 2016, representing 24% of the IoT market for Smart Cities. The total world production value of security products at factory gate prices totalled $27.25 billion in 2015 and is set to increase this year, according to a recent report Memoori published on security technology.

Lighting is also undergoing a rapid growth period, as LEDs become the number one source of light in buildings and smart cities. This transformation is the single most important driver for the growth of bus-based lighting controls and their convergence with IT Networks and integration into the Building Internet of Things (BIoT), and the central focus of another recent Memoori report, The Lighting Controls Business 2015 to 2020.

Towards the end of the decade Memoori expects the IoT in buildings to kick in providing further growth. BIoT should make convergence with the business enterprise and integration with other building automation services a practical proposition.

Furthermore, consumer IoT applications such as smart TVs, smart set-top boxes and various home automation tools such as smart thermostats and kitchen appliances fuel another market sector, smart homes. “The growing maturity of smart home platforms through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors will mean that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018”, said Tratz-Ryzn.

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Gartner expects smart homes to represent 21% of total IoT use in smart cities in 2016, and will record the highest increase over the next five years, as device and wireless standards become embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected, to an information and smart-enabled integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience.

“IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors”, said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “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”, said Tully. Gartner estimates that 4 billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2016, and will reach 13.5 billion in 2020.

In terms of hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion in 2016, while the use of connected things in the enterprise will drive $868 billion in 2016. “Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise”, said Tully.

Each of these market sectors has indentified the IoT as the path to greater value and each sector will drive connectivity technology forward. Each year all these market segments are developing increasingly in the same direction, creating a connected world, an internet of everything, and 2016 promises to take a big step towards that.