smart-fridgeIf you follow technology, you may be disappointed that your refrigerator is not yet telling you when you’re running low on milk or eggs. That’s been the de facto standard example of how the “Internet of Things” will change our lives for so long it feels almost cliché.

But the good new is, yesterday at CES Samsung Electronics CEO Boo-Keun Yoon made the timeline to the IoT a little more real. He said 90% of Samsung products will be connected to the internet by 2017, and every single product they make will be by 2020.

Samsung makes a broad spectrum of products including phones, TVs, washers, baby monitors, light bulbs…and, of course, refrigerators. 100% of their product line is a bold commitment, but indicates how pervasive IoT will really be, and 2020 will be here before we know it. If you look backwards by five years, an internet connected TV was barely a concept and today it’s hard to find a new TV that isn’t connected (75% of Samsung models.

If Samsung is doing this, so are its competitors, which means in five years the number of sensor-equipped internet devices will have achieved critical mass. Samsung is banging the gong early for open standards too, which will be the most difficult part of getting real intelligence from the interactions between IoT devices. Keep in mind this is just the consumer side of the spectrum –  Gartner estimates that there will be over 25 billion connected devices by 2020, up from about 3 billion today.

It’ll be quite a challenge to manage the information flowing between all those “things, ” but we say bring it on! Ten times the connected devices is one thing, it’s the exponentially larger volume of shared information flow and that sets up well for Solace’s data movement platform capable of 20-100 times the throughput vs today’s alternatives. We’ve been planning and building product features with the Internet of Things in mind for years, and many of our customers are already running their business on sensor-based intelligence in areas like environmental monitoring, public safety, transportation, logistics, energy, manufacturing and more.

So buckle up, because the Internet of Things will drive at least as much change over the next five years as the mobile revolution has created over the last five – in your kitchen and beyond.

Larry Neumann

Mr. Neumann is responsible for all aspects of strategic, corporate, product and vertical marketing. Before Solace, Mr. Neumann held executive marketing positions with TIBCO and Oracle, and co-founded an internet software company called inCommon which was acquired by TIBCO. During his tenure at TIBCO, Mr. Neumann played a key role in planning company strategic direction relating to target markets and candidate acquisitions.