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    Smart homes to lead with 294 million smart objects in use this year.

    Powered by the Internet of Things, the smart city of tomorrow will feature intelligent buildings, roads and public transport systems that are connected to each other and its inhabitants through sensors. This real-time information exchange will save people time, reduce environmental impact, lessen traffic and even create value for businesses along the way. Though still relatively new here in the United States, the advent of smart cities has already started taking shape across the world.

    Exponential Smart City Growth

    Smart homes and commercial buildings will represent 45% of all connected objects in 2015 and 81% by the end of 2020, according to a new report from Gartner. The study also estimates that 1.1 billion Internet-enabled items will be used by smart cities in 2015 with that number to rise to 9.7 billion over the next five years.

    The majority of IoT spending for smart cities will come from the private sector, explained Gartner Research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan. This will surely be some great news for technology companies and service providers that stand to benefit most in terms of revenue.

    Smart City Device Integration

    According to the report, there are a wide-range of IoT deployments for on-street and off-street parking guidance, road traffic guidance and traffic flow metering as well. A quick win within transport is the reduction of traffic congestion. California and the UK have already begun implementing radio receivers or sensors that are embedded on a section of highway to diagnose traffic conditions in real time.

    Another successful use of IoT in the city is smart parking. The city of Los Angeles, for instance, has been deploying new parking meters, parking space vehicle sensors, real-time parking guidance and a full parking management system to influence demand during peak times.

    Beyond that, residential citizens will lead the way by increasingly investing in smart home solutions, with the amount of connected things used in smart homes currently at 294 million and projected to hit 1 billion units by 2017. These include smart LED lighting, healthcare monitoring, smart locks and various sensors for such things as motion detection or carbon monoxide. Smart LED lighting will record the highest growth of IoT consumer applications, from 6 million units in 2015 to 570 million units by 2020. As the study reveals, light will migrate from being an illumination source to a communications carrier incorporating safety, health, pollution and personalized services.

    We expect that by 2020, many IoT TSPs will have grown their hardware revenues through services and software by more than 50 percent,” Tratz-Ryan concluded. The researcher goes on to say that smart home security and safety will represent the second-largest service market by revenue in 2017, and that come 2020, the smart healthcare and fitness market will have grown to nearly $38 billion.

    Interested in reading more? You can find the entire Gartner report here. Meanwhile, discover how Atmel is powering the IoT by focusing on edge nodes, a category that includes everything from smart home appliances to infrastructures for smart cities.

    This is a guest post from Atmel, and was originally published to the Atmel blog  on March 24th, 2015. Atmel Corporation is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components.

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