Smart commercial buildings will be a driving force in the uptake of internet of things, according to Gartner, which says smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of IoT until 2017.
After that the analyst firm says smart homes will take the lead.
Transport and utilities are also likely to be early money spinners in the IoT realm, Gartner says.
The company is forecasting 518 million connected things in use in smart commercial buildings in 2016, up from 377 million this year. Smart home devices are forecast to hit 339 million by 2016, up from 174 million in 2015.
Transport, currently sitting at 277 million is forecast to increase to 347 million in 2016, with utilities forecast to climb from 261 million this year to 314 million in 2016.
Gartner says commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation, which can create a unified view of facilities management as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors.
Bettina Tratz-Ryan, Gartner research vice president, says IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30%, especially in large sites such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls and airports.
Tratz-Ryan says the business applications fueling IoT growth in commercial buildings are handled through building information management systems that drive operations management, especially around energy efficiency and user-centric service environments.
Next year, Gartner is predicting that commercial security cameras and webcams, as well as indoor LEDs will drive total growth, representing 24% of the IoT market for smart cities.
Internationally, incentives for the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate are fuelling its development.
Tratz-Ryan cites the example of the UK's building information modelling mandate, which requires all public sector construction commencing in 2016 to comply with particular rules.
On the smart home front, she says consumer IoT applications, such as smart TVs, smart set-top boxes, smart bulbs and various home automation tools such as smart thermostats, home security systems and kitchen appliances are fuelling growth.
“The growing maturity of smart home platforms through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors will mean that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018,” Tratz-Ryan says.
Gartner says smart homes will represent 21% of total IoT use in smart cities in 2016, and will record the highest increase over the next five years.
“Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled – an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience,” Tratz-Ryan adds.