A Brief History of the Internet of Things
Over the last few years, the Internet of things has evolved from an intriguing concept into an increasingly sophisticated network of devices and machines. As more and more "things" get connected to the Internet—from Fitbit activity monitors and home lighting systems to industrial machines and aircraft—the stakes grow exponentially larger. Cisco Systems estimates that approximately 12.1 billion Internet-connected devices were in use in April 2014, and that figure is expected to zoom to above 50 billion by 2020. The networking firm also notes that about 100 things currently connect to the Internet every second, and the number is expected to reach 250 per second by 2020. Eventually, the IoT will encompass about 99 percent of all objects, which currently totals approximately 1.5 trillion things. "The IoT holds potential for disruptive change," says Gilad Meiri, CEO of tech startup Neura. "The evolution of the technology will likely be faster than the Internet." Following is a brief timeline of important IoT events.