So you know B2B (business to business) but do you know M2M (machine to machine)? That’s the concept behind the Internet of Things (IoT) – a concept which is much larger than you might think and will get even larger in 2016.

Because devices are much more varied than just your smartphone with the advent of smart glasses, smart watches, and a ton of other smart wearables, all of these devices need to flawlessly communicate with one another without that pesky “human factor” getting in the way. The Internet of Things is the network that allows for it. It’s a network of physical objects (“things”) that are embedded with sensors that allow them to exchange data and be controlled remotely. This could lead to more efficient integration between people and apps in the physical world. So if you’re wanting that smart home to be a reality, IoT is going to play a major role.

So just how big is it?

Gartner has estimated that IoT products could exceed $300 billion by 2020, and the World Economic Forum has said, “Fueling the Internet of Everything is the growing number of people and things connecting to the Internet. There will be more mobile devices and smartphones connected than the total global population by 2015; by 2020, more than 5 billion people will be connected, not to mention 50 billion things.”

So what does IoT mean for the future of mobile app development? Well, it means it’s something that will have to be considered when approaching a new app build. Your app will need to fit into a global network, not just necessarily function well on a handheld device. How could your app work on the iWatch, which has already has sold tens of thousands of devices and will only increase by the end of 2016? So don’t count out wearables just because everyone didn’t immediately strap Google Glass to their faces like we all expected. They’re the future, and you want your app to be a part of it.

Creative Commons Internet Of Things” by tumitu is licensed under CC BY 2.0

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.