According to a recent forecast by market research firm Gartner
, our homes will become a whole lot smarter over the next few years. Gartner expects the so-called Internet of Things to break through to the mainstream, predicting the number of smart objects in use worldwide to reach 25 billion by 2020.
The Internet of Things covers a wide range of products: from consumer products such as Nest's smart thermostats (Nest was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion) to intelligent street lighting that could help governments save energy - the potential for connected objects is basically limitless. Gartner expects a certain degree of connectivity to become the standard for everyday products, meaning that smartphones might soon become even smarter, as they turn into a remote control for everything from refrigerators to lamps and washing machines.