Today, cellular phones are linearly connecting people to other people and devices. Machine to machine automation with wireless sensors is being deployed but usually in islands of disparate systems. The evolution of these - is the Internet of Things, which will both attempt to connect these existing systems and then augment that by connecting more things. Data will then travel less linearly - things on the 'edge' form mesh networks and can make their own automated decisions, meanwhile the new big data 'cloud' automatically transports your preferences with you as you move, so any environment you are in is tailored to your needs without the need for you to do anything.
IDTechEx see two main application sets emerging for IoT - consumer applications, driven by the proliferation of smart phones and tablets which can connect to objects, including wearable technology, home automation, healthcare and fitness, vehicles and infotainment; and industrial and government applications, such as infrastructure monitoring, lighting, transportation and process automation.