The Internet's 5 Billionth Device Will Soon Go Live

You never really sit and think that there could be someone out there, actually keeping track of the internet. That there’s a man – or, more likely, collection of men, and by all rights probably some women, too – sitting around, crunching numbers and tabulating all the internets of the world. If there is such an entity, it is undeniably IMS Research, who have been tracking the installed base of internet-ready equipment for some time.

So what’s the big news? According to IMS, the internet will see its five billionth device plugged in sometime this month – I would presume, of course, that their projection excludes the possibility of any humanity-extinguishing catastrophes.

Seriously, though, guys. 5 billion. That’s a lot of goddamn computers, to say the least. And IMS brings up some interesting points of data, too. Currently, only about 1 billion of those devices are computers. Smartphones are already squashing that total, and then you’ve got things to take into account like TVs, tablets, cameras, and pretty much any modern consumer electronics… 5 billion almost seems pitiful.

But it won’t be a measly 5 bill for long. IMS predicts that in coming years, we’ll see an even more exponential rate of growth, not only in phones, but especially in machine-to-machine applications – the invisible side of the internet. You know that old Google trick where you could bust into traffic cams and stuff? Maybe that’s a bad example. I’ll just let IMS president Ian Weightman rap about it. Hit it, Ian:

“This has the potential to go way beyond industrial applications to encompass such applications as increasingly sophisticated smart grids, networked security cameras and sensors, connected home appliances and HVAC equipment, and ITS infrastructure for traffic and parking management,”

I bet he’s not talking about internet refrigerators. Man, internet refrigerators are the dumbest thing. They used to make them with TVs, too. I remember this commercial that honestly had the balls to tell me that my two favourite pastimes were now available in one device. I hope that appliance manufacturer folded.

But I definitely digress. In fact, Weightman is talking about internet fridges. He’s talking about everything. If you thought it was a wired world now, just you wait.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • Ping Yoo

    Oh wow, OK this makes a LOT of sense dude. Wow.


  • ok, so what’s next ???

  • Yeah! 5 billion! Good luck with that dudes!
    Good article though.

  • so what will happen after 10 yrs??????

  • that is a whole lot of devices!

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