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Integrated technology to form 'smart ecosystems' in the near future: report

TAIPEI -- The number of interconnected objects will increase substantially over the next few years, forming a rapidly growing “smart” ecosystem, according to a local research center.

A total of 2.22 billion smart devices will be connected worldwide in 2014, a number that is expected to have nearly doubled by 2018, the Taiwan Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK) said.

As the telecom evolution continues, more and more devices will be connected to one another, said the IEK under the government's Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Objects ranging from hand-held devices to domestic appliances and vehicles will all be connected, which the IEK said will provide more and better services for users.

IEK General Director Stephen Su said earlier this month that the era of “smart everywhere” has arrived, with “everything” to be connected to the Internet.

The information and communications technology sector is now shifting its focus to developing devices and technologies that have high stability, low power consumption and suitability for any platform and environment, he added.

The Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC), a division of Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry, held a similar view, saying that the world is developing this type of technology, aiming to build up “smart cities.”

Japan and South Korea are the two countries that have seen the most common personal applications of Internet of Things (IOT) technology, while Europe and the United States have been focusing more on public affairs and businesses, the institute said.

Global output of IOT technology applications will reach US$600 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent, the MIC predicted.

Of that figure, over US$500 billion will be given over to software services, while the output of hardware production could amount to US$70 billion, it said.

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