Cisco launched the Cisco Internet of Everything (IoE) Connections counter today, claiming to count, in real time, everything that comes online.
So far it's over ten billion people, processes, data and things. Here's a look at their counter:
"Right now, in 2013, 80 'things' per second are connecting to the internet. Next year that number will reach almost 100 per second, and by 2020, more than 250 things will connect each second," says Cisco's Karen Tillman. "Add all of these numbers up, and we believe that more than 50 billion things will be connected to the internet by 2020."
Among the "things" Cisco is counting are mobile devices, parking meters, thermostats, cardiac monitors, tires, roads, cars, supermarket shelves and cattle.
"The list is endless, and it just keeps getting longer and more interesting. Literally, by the second," says Tillman.
Here's how Cisco describes its methodology (along with a slideshow for reference):
To estimate the number of connected objects during 2013-20 we first estimated the total number of ‘things’ in the world and then determined the proportion of connected things. For 2012, we had estimated the total number of ‘things’ in the world to be 1.5 trillion and the number of connected objects to be 8.7 billion, implying 0.6% penetration rate of connected objects. We expect the number of things to reach 1.8 trillion in 2020, growing 3% annually. Subsequently, we have assumed that connectivity costs will decline by 25% annually during 2013-20. Conservatively, we assume the price-elasticity of demand to be ~1 and consequently expect annual growth in number of things to be 25% CAGR during 2013-20. Based on these assumptions, we estimate that the number of connected objects to reach ~50 billion in 2020 (or 2.7% of the total things in the world).
With that, you can take the numbers with a grain of salt, but at least get a feel for Cisco's line of thinking. Either way, the number of connected things is clearly on the rapid uptick.