Business leaders are starting to look into how their companies can take advantage of the burgeoning Internet of things, with 96 percent expecting their organizations to be using it in some way by 2016, according to a report published by chip designer ARM.
In the report done with The Economist Intelligence Unit, ARM also found that 75 percent of the 779 business leaders interviewed are researching opportunities created by the Internet of things (IoT). At the same time, the report outlines the need for common standards to ensure communication between the billions of connected devices that will make up the IoT. Executives with ARM, which released the report Oct. 29 at their TechCon 2013 show, see their own opportunity in the IoT.
"The Internet of Things runs on ARM," CEO Simon Segars said in a Business Wire press release. "By connecting the next 30 [billion] devices, the ARM ecosystem is transforming lives by improving the management of our cities, health services, environment and education systems. Our technologies provide the functional building blocks in a huge range of products including cars, heart monitoring systems, washing machines and lighting. Energy efficiency and miniaturization are essential in these technologies."
ARM designs low-power chips, and licenses those designs to partners. ARM-based systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) are found in most smartphones and tablets, and the company is looking to extend its reach into new areas. Officials have said the IoT—where billions of intelligent devices connect into the Internet and communicate with people and each other—is a natural fit. In March, ARM announced its energy-efficient Cortex-MO+ chip for the IoT.
In addition, ARM in August bought Sensinode Oy, which made software for the IoT.
Other chip makers also are making a push in the area. Intel in September unveiled its Quark family of small, low-power SoCs, which will target the IoT and wearable devices. Advanced Micro Devices also is aggressively building out its embedded chip business. In addition, tech vendors like Cisco Systems and IBM are looking to become key players in the Internet of things. At the first Internet of things forum Oct. 29 in Barcelona, Spain, Cisco announced creation of a new IoT business group.
According to a Cisco report earlier this year, by 2017, there will be 3.6 billion Internet users and more than 19 billion network connections, both fixed and mobile, as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.
ARM's report shows growing IoT interest. Sixty-one percent of respondents said companies that are slow to adopt IoT will fall behind the competition, 30 percent believe IoT will unlock new revenues, and 29 percent said it will lead to new working practices. Common standards and collaborative approaches will be important to ensure that data not only is created, but shared with service providers to benefit end users.
Manufacturing is the top industry for IoT, while European countries appear to be ahead of other regions in planning for it, the report says.