In 2015, there will be 1.1 billion connected devices to the Internet of things being used in smart cities.
But in 2020 – that number will rise to 9.7 billion. That is the estimate written in the new Gartner report, published recently (opens in new tab).
A concept of a smart city includes internet-connected sensors placed all around the city, which will monitor certain aspects of the crowded city life, like traffic jams, parking space, street lights and many others.
The data gathered can be transferred over the internet to other computers which would organise the input in a meaningful fashion, thus helping people live their lives with less stress, more efficiency and less power consumption.
"Smart cities represent a great revenue opportunity for technology and service providers, but providers need to start to plan, engage and position their offerings now," Gartner research vice president Bettina Tratz-Ryan told (opens in new tab) IBTimes UK.
If the predictions are to become reality, these next five years are going to be long ones, as people tend to reject new technologies, mostly because they fear they’re being monitored.
And after the whole Edward Snowden incident, who can blame them?
IB Times UK states a couple of examples from the UK and the Netherlands, where placing data-collecting chips in things like trash bins or lamp posts had people quite worried.
The ‘smartening’ of a city must be followed closely by the education of its citizens, to better understand what these chips really do and how they can improve their life.
Today, smart sensors are becoming most popular in the areas of motion detection, intelligent LED lighting and healthcare monitoring.