The market for services and equipment that support communictions between devices, known as machine to machine communications, will be the fastest growing segment of the IT industry from now until 2017, according to research company MarketsandMarkets.
The M2M communications market, including technologies related to the Internet of Things, will grow from $44.0 billion in 2011 to $290 billion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of just over 30%, the company says.
The retail sector will account for the majority of IoT and M2M spending by 2017, with an 18.7% market share. That will be followed by public safety and security, with 16.8%, consumer and residential (11.9%) and IT and telecoms (10.5%).
MarketsandMarkets lists Cisco, IBM, Intel, AT&T and French companies Alcatel-Lucent and Gemalto as the key markey players that stand to benefit from this growth.
The company characterises machine-to-machine communications as the third era of the web, after ‘mostly static’ Web 1.0 and ‘interactive’ Web 2.0. "The third era is “connectivity not only with humans” – everyone, everything, and everywhere," it says. "Things / objects / machines will also interact with each other. They will initiate the transactions and influence each other."
Devices that will interact in this fashion will include computers, people, actuators, refrigerators, sensors, books, passports, luggage, clothes, food, TVs, vehicles, mobile phones and medicines, the company claims.
One area of particular growth will be M2M network security, MarketsandMarkets predicts, as M2M systems become an integrated component of national critical infrastructure.
In August, CanadianBusiness argued that M2M technology may be able to help turn around Blackberry maker RIM by building an M2M ecosystem and placing its forthcoming Blackberry 10 devices at its core.