Smart metering, smart car, smart home & building. In 2013 the sales of ‘smart’ products grew by 20% compared with 2012, reaching 6 million units
Digital technologies applied to electric home appliances, cars and other objects of daily use: it’s the Internet of Things. It’s not a victory of tangible objects over the immateriality of new technologies, but rather a convergence of people, processes, data and things that can turn information into added value action.
In short, an opportunity for everyone, and that’s why it’s rapidly growing. It certainly is in Italy where, according to a study conducted by the Internet of Things Observatory of the Polytechnic of Milan, in 2013 the sales of “smart” products grew by 20% compared with 2012, reaching 6 million units. In economic terms, the market reached 900 million euro, a 6% increase versus 2012.
The Polytechnic identifies three main areas:
- Smart metering. It consists in technologies connected with remote energy consumption management and monitoring. It’s the most consolidated field and also the one in which Italy has a leading position, thanks to Enel, which was the first in the world to start developing and then installing electronic meters. Now it has completed the installation for 32 million customers in Italy, and is carrying out the same project in Spain and other countries.
- Smart Cars. Intelligent mobility is the most rapidly growing field, including the integration of mobile devices into cars and next-generation innovations such as driverless vehicles.
- Smart home & Building. It’s the field with the greatest amount of applications. The use of digital technologies for industrial automation has been going on for years, and now there are more and more innovations for smart home appliances and domotics in general. And the trend aims at solutions that are growingly tailored for the different needs of customers.
All these applications will be contained in the efficient and sustainableSmart Cities, another field in which Italy is in the frontline. Now it’s in a testing phase, but the Observatory believes this is the sector with the greatest potential.