Smart cities will experience a drastic increase in the number of connected devices in the coming year, according to a recent Gartner report.
In the report, named Forecast: Internet of Things — Endpoints and Associated Services, Worldwide, 2015, Gartner estimated 1.6 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2016, an increase of 39 per cent from 2015. The report also stated that smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of IoT with 518 billion connected things to be in use in 2016.
Gartner research vice-president, Bettina Tratz-Ryan, said smart commercial buildings would be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes would take the lead with just over 1 billion connected things in 2018.
And commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation, according to the research firm. It said 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 percent," Tratz-Ryan said.
The firm also said business applications fuelling the growth of IoT in commercial buildings were handled through building information management systems that drive operations management, especially around energy efficiency and user-centric service environments.
In addition, Gartner predicted commercial security cameras and webcams as well as indoor LEDs will drive total growth in 2016, representing 24 per cent of the IoT market for smart cities.
Gartner also indicated 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 and Tratz-Ryan said incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate would fuel development.
Consumer IoT applications that are fueling growth in the smart homes space are smart TVs, smart set-top boxes, smart bulbs and various home automation tools such as smart thermostats, home security systems and kitchen appliances.
"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," Tratz-Ryan added.
Smart homes will represent 21 per cent of total IoT use in smart cities in 2016, the highest increase over the next five years, the analyst firm said.
"Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled — an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience."
She said the technological advances meant citizens could actively contribute to the development and strategic direction of their city.
"At the same time, businesses become more empowered to utilise the sensor data to create their value proposition."