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‘Internet of Things’ will be worth more than the national debt

Published Feb 26th, 2014 7:30PM EST
Internet of Things Market Value
Image: CNN

The “Internet of Things” was a major focus at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with virtually every company introducing more connected devices. This is for good reason, as a report from last December said the Internet of Things industry would be worth $309 billion by 2020. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, according to Cisco CEO John Chambers.

At the Mobile World Congress trade show, Chambers said he believes the Internet of Things will create $19 trillion in “economic benefit and value” in the next decade.

Where did he come up with this number? It’s not clear, but he shared some interesting numbers on the growth of Internet-connected devices: In 1984, only 1,000 devices were connected to the Internet; in 2010, there were 10 billion connected devices; and by 2020, Chambers expects there to be 50 billion connected devices.

He also thinks the Internet of Things will have a 5 to 10 times larger impact on the world than the Internet itself.

Chambers said his customers are increasingly interested in the Internet of Things and are more willing to trust connected devices. Whereas in the past, Chambers would have to buy drinks for people to get them to talk about the Internet of Things, now his customers take him out to dinner to ask him about the Internet of Things.