Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Are you connected? If you aren’t you will be one of the few people who won’t be. And it won’t be long before there are three or four times more connect devices than humans in a world where connected devices link just about everything we do.

That’s the finding in new research titled “The Connected Life.”

In new research from the mobile industry trade group GSMA and Machina Research, the number of “connected devices” from Internet-enabled devices to smartphones to tablets and more is forecast to soar to more than 24 billion by the year 2020 from 9 billion today.

Mobile connected devices, meanwhile, will double to 12 billion from 6 billion.

Here’s the definition of connected devices from GSMA: ”Connected devices are smart wide area and short range devices that have the benefit of connecting to a network, including: remote sensors, remote monitoring, actuating devices, associated aggregation devices, PCs, laptops, tablets, eReaders, mobile handsets, femto cells and routers.”

The Big Business Opportunity

Along with the growth comes the opportunity for businesses to cash in. The groups forecase “a seven-fold increase” in revenue to nearly $1.2 trillion.

“We are entering the next phase in the development of the mobile industry, one where we will see mobile connect everything in our lives,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer of GSMA, in announcing the research.

“In this new Connected Life, mobile will transform society and will have a profound effect on the way we interact not only with each other, but also with our surroundings,” he predicted.

“However, capitalizing on this enormous opportunity requires collaboration across the entire ecosystem to demonstrate how mobile technology in everything from tablet PCs to new healthcare devices can enhance people’s personal and business lives.”

For more about the research, read here.

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