The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to gather a couple billion more connected devices as it expands its reach this year.
Gartner predicts that the IoT will encompass 8.4 billion connected "things" worldwide in 2017, a 31 percent jump compared to 2016. Businesses will account for 3.1 billion of those devices as they snap up more commercial surveillance cameras, smart meters and the like.
Meanwhile, growing consumer demand for digital set-tops, smart TVs and connected car technologies will push household IoT device counts to 5.2 billion, or 63 percent of the overall market. In total, the market will generate nearly $2 trillion in revenues attributed to IoT endpoints and services, with most it coming from businesses, said the technology analyst group.
Businesses will spend $964 billion on IoT devices this year, compared to $725 billion on the consumer front. In 2020, both segments are expected to nearly reach a combined $3 trillion in IoT hardware sales. Gartner expects the worldwide IoT device count to surpass 20 billion by 2020, across both the business and consumer realms.
Naturally, without services that link and add functionality to all of those sensors, cameras and other connected gadgets, the IoT won't reach its potential.
"IoT services are central to the rise in IoT devices. Total IoT services spending (professional, consumer and connectivity services) is on pace to reach $273 billion in 2017," said Gartner research director Denise Rueb in a statement.
"Services are dominated by the professional IoT-operational technology category in which providers assist businesses in designing, implementing and operating IoT systems. However, connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace," she continued, noting that services catering to the consumer set are newer and have a smaller base to start from.
"Similarly, connectivity services are growing robustly as costs drop, and new applications emerge," concluded Rueb.
This year, the IoT will spread faster across Greater China, North America and Western Europe than in other parts of the world. Combined, these regions will account for 67 percent of the IoT install base in 2017.
Last month, IDC forecast that IoT hardware spending will reach $400 billion by 2020. Add services, software and connectivity solutions, investments will reach $1.29 trillion, predicted the IT research firm.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.