There will be 9.7 billion connected devices being used in smart cities by 2020, a new report suggests.
According to analyst firm Gartner, the number of smart devices is set to skyrocket from 1.1 billion to nearly 10 billion in smart cities over the next five years.
Smart cities are generally understood to be urban areas where sensors are installed in public infrastructure to measure various metrics.
Such metrics include traffic flow, use of certain services, urban lighting, parking spaces, but are practically unlimited in their scope.
This allows public bodies to evaluate the information and make better informed decisions on how run their cities.
Speaking to the IBTimes UK, Gartner’s research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan said: “Smart cities represent a great revenue opportunity for technology and services providers, but providers need to start to plan, engage and position their offerings now.”
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A separate Gartner report from last year revealed that connected devices would number 25 billion globally by 2020, which is upwards of three times Earth’s current population.
It’s important to note that these smart connected devices aren’t necessarily limited to smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
They can include more obscure installations; anything from smart home devices to micro-chipped wheelie bins.
“People need to understand what ‘smart’, i.e. a connected or sensorised environment really means,” continued Tratz-Ryan.
“A lot of government and commercial companies, they’re going in and implementing without having a proper explanation. That’s why in smart cities, the key is to understand the citizens and what their key requirements are.”