Today’s Internet of people is extending into an “Internet of things” and soon there will be more than one trillion connected devices. By 2013, 1.2 billion connected consumer electronics devices are expected in the more than 800 million homes with broadband connections. Compared with previous attempts to enable “smart buildings”, where the intelligence was based on centralized control through a home server or gateway, the intelligence in the new smarter buildings extends into the network, or more precisely the Internet cloud.
This new paradigm exposes opportunities for harnessing collective consumer knowledge and offering innovative services which build on the computational power and scalability of the cloud. Data aggregated and stored within the cloud can provide dramatic new insights about consumer needs and behavior.
“Smarter Buildings and Smart Cities” are on the horizon. The increasing ubiquity of Web-enabled home appliances and devices, coupled with widespread broadband communications, are finally enabling new “intelligent” products and services that reach far beyond traditional markets.