If you walked around the downtown areas of German cities at the turn of the millennium, car sharing vehicles will have been an infrequent sight. Today they are so much a part of the cityscape that it is hard to image cities without them. Along with the triumphant progress of smartphones, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication was the technical requirement that enabled them to come into their own. The locating box inside the car and the requisite app lead the user to the next available car.
Car sharing is one of the few M2M success stories to date in the B2C sector, but that is in the process of changing. Until now, companies have mainly determined the demand for connected solutions, but more and more connected products for end consumers are now establishing themselves, as is outlined in the Acquity Group’s 2014 Internet of Things Study. Whereas only 4 percent of more than 2,000 consumers polled in the United States currently own a smart home device, 69 percent will do so by 2019.
Consumers go for security and energy efficiency
For consumers, energy and security systems are especially important. Thirteen percent of respondents said they already had smart thermostats or were planning to purchase them in the year ahead. In the next five years their number is forecast to increase to 43 percent. The situation is much the same for security systems. While only 11 percent of consumers currently use a connected security system or are planning to buy one in 2015, by 2019 35 percent will do so.