5.8 Billion IoT Endpoints - Top IoT trends to keep an eye on in 2020

The number of connected endpoints in IoT is growing and with it the number of exciting applications. We show which trends start-ups should look out for in 2020.


The Internet of Things has arrived in business and private life. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that the enterprise and automotive IoT market will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019. An impressive development, which offers a lot of room for innovative start-up ideas.

In our view, further development will depend essentially on these three key drivers:

1. Users and integrators open their minds to digitizing infrastructures and processes.

2. Fast 5G Internet enables fast data exchange and Edge Computing in IoT.

3. Innovative manufacturers and software developers provide the necessary hardware and software that enables IoT.

On the last point, startups play an important role because, unlike some large vendors, they can quickly find solutions for new requirements. In the following, we have listed some areas that we think might be interesting for IoT start-ups (beyond AI and Machine Learning)…

Edge Computing

As the number of devices in IoT increases and data processes require low latency and higher speed, edge computing architecture has become an important alternative to the cloud.

Security cameras are a good example of edge computing because they now take over tasks that used to be done by applications in the cloud. For example, to recognize license plates of cars, surveillance cameras have so far only captured video data and forwarded it to the cloud for analysis. Today, cameras equipped with powerful processors and smart software can analyze video data directly in the device. This means that they provide insights instead of just video data.

“IoT needs smart devices that perform more tasks smarter and faster. The key lies in edge computing, which offers great potential for start-ups.”

Patrick Herbst, Security and Safety Things

If you as a developer are burning to make devices smarter, then let's talk about how our open IoT platform can help you realize your ideas!

“A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object. It includes the model of the physical object, data from the object, a unique one-to-one correspondence to the object and the ability to monitor the object.”


Digital twins range from people, devices and places to complex environments, such as buildings, factories or cities. It's very likely that every physical object which can be described to the finest detail will be digitally represented in IoT.

In the industrial sector, for example, digital twins technology allows engineers to first test and simulate before investing time and money in developing actual products. This helps fix bugs and evaluate functionality before even one part of a machine, system or building is created.

In other words: Digital twins help humans to make better and more educated decisions. But that is not the only advantage of this technology can provide.

Learn more about technology and applications for Digital Twins here in our blog next week! 

Data Ethics

IoT is about data. The current discussion about face recognition, surveillance and privacy is important because it shows one thing: ethical handling of data is needed. How can public bodies and companies benefit from data without seriously affecting the rights of individuals?

Smart software applications can help enforce privacy and regulations. This requires that data ethics fundamentally determines the product design of IoT systems. At Security and Safety Things we have built this into the DNA of our product from the very beginning: Our ecosystem complies with rules and ethical guidelines to ensure data privacy – so users and the general public can trust it.

Read more about Ethics in IoT in this comprehensive paper at ScienceDirect.

Gesture & Voice Recognition

Everyone is talking about facial recognition, many are discussing the purpose and ethical boundaries. What is almost overlooked is another area where AI can play an important role: voice recognition. Voice services such as Alexa, Siri and Google are already established in smart homes. In the private but also in the business sector this is only the beginning.

Let's take the man-machine interface as an example: With the increasing spread of voice and video, we are moving from"typing" to devices that reads our voice, hand gesture or fingerprints and thus initiates an action. The interaction with devices in offices will change fundamentally and with it processes and workflows. The same applies to any type of communication touch point between people and organizations.

Example: 3D hand perception in real-time on a mobile phone via MediaPipe

iot camera

Source: MediaPipe, found at Google AI Blog

As mentioned above, these are just a few examples of how technologies and applications are rapidly developing IoT. In each of these areas, there are countless new business models for innovative start-ups.

Time for the next step in the IoT journey

The IoT market will continue to grow rapidly. The landscape of IoT start-ups and providers will continue to differentiate and consolidate. Many applications will mature and many new ones will appear. As a lot of experience has been gained, start-ups can now build on this.

New technologies, platforms, and standards for the development of applications are already enabling us to make IoT devices smarter and more powerful.

At Security and Safety Things, we assist start-ups in creating applications for IoT in the fields of security and operations and in monetizing globally through our digital Application Store based on an open and standardized development platform.

Let’s talk if you want to know more or test our platform!


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