We know about the "internet of things" - ever more smart devices connected to the internet - but the "internet of everything" (IoE) could enable global private-sector businesses to generate at least $613 billion (£369 billion) in global profits. And $28.4 billion (£17 billion) of this could be in the UK.
The figures are from Cisco, which has been heavily pushing the internet of things concept, and which is now going the full hog and pushing the internet of everything.
The internet of things (IoT) will create a market worth up to $8.9 trillion (£5.3 trillion) by 2020, according to analyst IDC. IoT covers anything from smart meters and machine-to-machine telematics to internet-enabled fridges and coffee machines.
In a report, Cisco says there is "realisation of the IoE in the UK and how this vision will play a key role in fuelling the British economy for years to come".
In an era when it's possible for everything to be given an internet address and connected to a network, says Cisco, 50 billion “things” will be connected globally by 2020, "creating $19 trillion worth of value" - Cisco's "value" is much higher than IDC's "market".
Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK and Ireland, said, “The internet of everything provides the platform from which an ever-increasing number of connections will ‘wake-up’ the world around us.
"With just 1 percent of the physical world connected at this time, this is just the beginning of an amazing future. As connections become smarter, faster and more insightful, we will only see more imaginative and ambitious applications of the IoE, which will quite literally change the world."
Cisco said the IoE would lead to more sophisticated ways of selling to and engaging with customers, to increasingly efficient and slick supply chains and manufacturing processes.
In the report Cisco identifies five areas in the UK that will see the biggest benefits first, including healthcare, retail, transport, energy and manufacturing.
In healthcare, for instance, not only will patients be able to manage their own healthcare conditions, but medical staff will also be able to keep track of recovery remotely and automatically update health care records. In emergency situations, wireless mesh and 4G mobile connections will allow for smarter, more instantaneous decisions on the move, said Cisco.
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