The Internet of Things is gaining muscle as developers flock to participate in its potential. According to research firm Evans Data, there are 6.2 million developers worldwide working on IoT applications and systems, a 34% increase from the 4.1 million doing so 12 months ago.
The Global Developer Population and Demographics Study, released June 22, combines the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based research firm's developer population model with the results of its biannual Global Development Survey. According to the report, there's been a 14% increase in development for mobile devices in the past 12 months, making the smartphone the most commonly connected IoT platform.
In a prepared statement, Michael Rasalan, director of research at Evans Data, said the transition to IoT "is not without barriers," including the need for standard ways of collecting the data for analysis. But, he stated, developers are bringing their existing knowledge of mobile development to the IoT, along with their experiences making use of API-driven services in the cloud.
With this convergence of technologies, "they're creating entirely new use cases. We're seeing developers branch out from concepts centered on wearables to applications for more complex tasks, seen in the industrial space."
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Those findings were reinforced by the results from another research group. IDC projected earlier this month that revenue from the Internet of Things will grow by 16.1% to $357 billion by 2019. The IoT will be pressed into service for in-store contextualized marketing, connected vehicles, and insurance telematics, among other functions, according to the IDC report.
In addition, GE officials anticipate growth in industrial uses of IoT. For example, GE sees immense amounts of data collected on manufacturing systems, commercial aircraft, and other heavy equipment it operates, with analytics performed by its Predix system detecting areas of possible failure and preventing them before they occur.
Evans Data released a handful of details from its 84-page report. For example, its study predicted the Asia Pacific region will experience the fastest growth in developer populations devoted to the IoT from now through 2021. The region will produce 900,000 more IoT-focused developers than Europe, Africa and the Middle East, or EMEA. Developer activity in China and India will keep Asia/Pacific at the forefront for several years, the study concluded.
In a June 1 announcement also related to the Internet of Things, Evans Data CEO Janel Garvin said IoT was the top target for developers working in the technologies associated with artificial intelligence. Developers working in machine learning, neural networks, deep learning, and pattern recognition had many different venues in which to use their technology, but the Internet of Things topped the list, Garvin stated.
"These technologies are being incorporated very rapidly into the design and development process across a host of industries, and types of applications, but it's IoT that is the strongest driver."