Today, we are proud to present you our new infographics on the Internet of Things (IoT). The piece is a joint effort of around 15 colleagues here at Bosch Software Innovations coming from the areas of business development, sales, product management, controlling & finance, product development, marketing & communications. As we were such a diverse group, we tried to add different flavors to the Internet of Things – a human perspective, a thing and technical perspective, a commercial perspective and a company perspective – to show the facets that the Internet of Things brings. Let me walk you through a few of our thoughts.

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It’s happening now!

In the near future, more and more devices and systems will be capable of sending and receiving data automatically via the internet. We’re already poised on the verge of new developments that offer enormous market potential. The Internet of Things isn’t just a distant vision of the future, it’s already very real and is having an impact on more than just technological developments.

People talking IoT

Our infographics start with buzz around the Internet of Things (and believe us, there is loads!) We selected some tweets from multipliers in the international IoT community such as Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Rob van Kranenburg, Charalampos Doukas, Adrian McEwen and Stefan Ferber, who reflect the diversity of topics. The IoT community around the world is fully networked through social media. The Twitter short messaging service is the fastest and maybe most popular way to spread projects, new technology, and ideas. The relevant hashtag for the Internet of Things is #IoT – just in case you want to join the discussion.

Infographics: People talking IoT

Enormous growth needs a human shape

In the next few years, people will more and more use devices and systems that will be configured to automatically send and receive data over the internet. It is safe to say that we are about to see a huge new market develop. We have to face that huge challenge and give a human touch to the DNA of upcoming products and services.

Devices, internet access and the world population

By 2015, Bosch Software Innovations is assuming that the number of IP-ready devices, that will be connected to the internet, will grow to a total of 6,593 billion. Even more impressive is the growth that is seen in internet access. Whereas in 1995, less than 1% of the world’s population was online, this number has exploded: 2.3 billion people were online in 2011, while for the year 2015 we expect 5.5 billion people to have internet access (source: ITU). This equates to around 75% of the world’s population.Devices & people: development of connectivity

Different data sets – the “right“ number of devices

If you follow the lively IoT discussion, you will find different statements about the number of devices that are configured to send and receive data over the internet. And there are quite some discrepancies, we have to admit. Some companies are more optimistic and speak of there being 50 billion connected devices in 2020. Our calculation represents the installed base of devices that have TCP/IP connectivity and are connected to the internet. And we took into account that some devices have already been discarded or replaced by newer devices. Just recently, Vint Cerf, who is better known as the father of the internet, also spoke in an interview about the number of devices and confirms this assumption.

We derived the data from multiple sources: ABI, Analysys Mason, Credit Suisse, Gartner, GOV.UK, IDC, IHS iSppli, iMode, ITU, Jefferies & Company, LCD TV Association, Nielsen, OnStar, Strategy Analytics, UN, Wikipedia, World TV PC. Collecting, interpreting, and validating the data from multiple sources is a real “labor of Sisyphus”. Is anybody out there who would like to start a community to update this database?

Open platform for eMobility in Singapore

Since June 2011, Bosch Software Innovations has been supporting the city state of Singapore in a far-reaching project aimed at the successful operation of an electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The five-year test-bed project involves various electric vehicles and charging technology prototypes, alongside the development of new business models. Potential business stakeholders are drivers, fleet and parking operators, retailers, electric vehicle producers, and utilities, as well as the government agencies EMA and LTA. As the government of Singapore’s appointed infrastructure service provider, Bosch Software Innovations plays a key role in the design and development of the charging infrastructure as well as in its implementation, operation, and maintenance. Until the project is completed in 2016, the range of services available through the Bosch Software Innovations internet service platform will continue to grow, allowing electromobility users in Singapore to benefit from innovative services.

Innovation in open systems

Bosch IoT applications

Bosch has already come up with some initial practical applications in connection with the Internet of Things. In telehealth, the vital data of thousands of patients are automatically recorded and evaluated every day. Medical personnel need only take action if the data reveal anomalies. At the company’s Homburg plant, crates are equipped with RFID transmitters, allowing material flows in industry production to be tracked in real time. In Singapore, Bosch is operating a comprehensive networked eMobility system for electric vehicles. It directs drivers to the nearest vacant charge spot and takes care of billing procedures with a flat-fee price model.IoT applications at Bosch

We are curious to hear your feedbacks!

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About The Author

Anita Bunk

I work for Bosch Software Innovations as senior marketing & communications professional for the Internet of Things (IoT). In the past, I was part of international technology and innovation marketing teams. What I enjoy most in my job is sharing with a greater audience the passion that engineers put in developing a high-tech product. My background is a master in communications and a diploma in political science.

14 Responses

  1. Charalampos Doukas

    Great job Anita and Stefan! Honoured to be part of this! Looking forward to more news about open platforms and Bosch SI IoT applications!

  2. Jeffrey Dungen

    Thanks not only for compiling all of these numbers but also for clearly stating your assumptions! Even with a conservative estimate of connected TCP/IP devices alone, it is clear that the Internet of Things is taking off.

  3. Stefan Ferber

    Thanks a lot for your kudos about the hard numbers. I have spent days & nights to collect and verify all that data ;-)

  4. Rob van Kranenburg

    Thank you very much for including me in this extremely productive info graphic.

    It clearly shows that business is ready for a paradigm that aims for a new balance between cooperation and competition, open and closed and a quick wins and quick bucks versus slower money and value driven business models.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that Bosch is Foundation based. It has the ability to look ahead calmly and assess both the low hanging fruit of IoT (optimizing, cost efficiency, more and better data) as well as its disruptive aspects (where and what will be the products and services in 5 years time and can I facilitate these with my current tools, staff and skill sets?)

    A few words on Council.

    Council was initiated from the debates in the interactive arts scene and ‘Mixed Reality’ discussions at RIXC, Riga, and festivals like DEAF, Futuresonic (now FutureEverything), ISEA, RFID workshops by me and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer at Mediamatic. The actual name ‘Council’ was chosen in a discussion over tea and cookies in Nottingham with Usman Haque (see his work at and of course Pachube), Régine Debatty (WMMNA, we make money not art. org), Sean Dodson ( and Christian Nold ( The direct reason to set up the site was the speech of Gérald Santucci at the Gala Dinner of the First Forum Europe Internet of Things in Brussels. In that talk he said that IoT could not be build without designers, artists and philosophers. For me that was the signal to start Council and we started with a meeting at IMAL in Brussels:

    Before Council, and still very active – together with Bronac Ferran, Matt Ratto, Jaromil and Felipe Fonseca – we set up a network on open source soft and hardware,

    The reason to start Council was thus to make a kind of newspaper that becomes the first resource on IoT to look for information. Ideally every page has something from design, applications, technology, arts or philosophy. That way none of these topics can become the ‘other’. As IoT is about ‘everything’ as it is a new ontology. No longer we can build models with only analogue and digital building blocks, we now have hybrid objects that start to claim their own independence and there are new actors like private grid operators that are really new. The intelligences that build it must have a wide variety of expertise, skills and ways of living. It can not be build on efficiency strategies only.

    2013 seems to be the year of breakthrough of IoT for a larger audience. Those of us who see IoT as a game changer and new playing field realise that for a large audience the analogue issues of privacy and security will become really strong and that there will be a lot of work for privacy policies, easy methods based on Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) but there is a need as well to set up proactive infrastructures, methods and tools that work form the assumption that IoT will lead to huge if not ‘total’ transparency.

    Council is I think and propose quite neutral in all of this. It caters to the more reactive point of view that sees IoT as a gradual movement of growing connectivity without changing the nature of the actors and their resources (single currency, IP, patents, copyright, general and specific law) as well as catering to and making scenarios for the more proactive point of view that sees IoT as an extremely disruptive set of practices fuelled by growing transparency of real time data streams that are increasingly harvested, managed and made actionable by citizens and new groups of actors operating on new forms of funding (for example Kickstarter).

    There is no money involved in Council. There is no formal structure. You use it or you don’t. Its is also very easy to join. Just send me – kranenbu at – a bio and a picture.

    In order to make a more formal structure we have set up IoP Ltd. It will start in 2013 as a mix of a recruitment agency bringing clients and expertise together & eventually providing design and consulting services for projects. IoP will have paying members and you are all welcome to join once the structure is up,

    Best, Rob

  5. Anu Sood

    Great graphics – always tough to capture scales of magnitude and interactions in a eye catching manner for others to understand. Hope you find/create a graphic that shows how #IoT will affect us at a device level – from the home to our city and finally our world.

  6. Stefan Ferber

    Anu, thanks for your suggestion to extend our infographics. We spend quite some time, many sketches, and collected a lot of ideas. Hence, you are right, getting a chart down to the sensor and device level with a meaningful story is still open. Do you have a good idea we could include in our next version of the infographics?

  7. jean

    Funny. I also find the infographic very interesting. However, if I put the same numbers into perspective, I come to other conclusions than all the deeply involved enthousiats above !

    There is a very interesting table on the infographics close to the figure that explains the type of connected devices : out of the 6.5 Gdevices connected, there are no less than 6 billions … PCs (tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops). This means that IoT (other devices) will not even reach 10% … in 2015. As a side note, there is already 1.5 device/IPv4 address, without any issue.

    The other very impressive fact is that 75% of the earth’s inhabitants would be connected, roughly half of them with smartphones. Now, who has something to tell them ? Their friends, sure, but that’s only some hundreds typically, right ? Who else ? Think about it.

    Yes, you got it. Advertisers, … filling the memory-strapped mobile phones full of scam. And it started already : even my butcher wants his IoS application in my phone ! Is this how IoT will improve the world ?

    And a second sad note : Maybe 3/4 of people are connected, but … how many percent of the “things” ? If you expect 0.062 billion connected vehicles in 2015, while there were more than one billion vehicles in 2010 (, it would be around 5%.

    This is surely not against Bosch-SI, you’re is on the right side : helping production chains, health devices etc. But how can you avoid an advertising-paid network to be clogged with … advertising ?

  8. Stefan Ferber

    Jean, thanks a lot for enriching the discuss here. And yes, most IP enabeld devices will be Laptops, Smart Phones, and Tablets which are the prerequisite for many IoT applications. As I carefully collected all the numbers I understood much better why the current IoT business has still little revenue. There are too few connected vehicles, buildings, sensors, and actuators.
    I also aggree that the most successful business model in the Internet is advertisement. Hence, this is not sustainable for two reasons. The maximum time to show ads to customers is already reached (only time while driving a car or bike is missing) and prices for internet ads are follwing already as internet space is nearly infinity.
    I think that is a good trend as it forces Internet companies to find more sustainable business models.

  9. Anita Bunk

    Hi Nigel, thanks for this addition – I have seen the timeline earlier before on twitter. From which sources do you curate? Manually or based on keywords / hashtags?

  10. Julian Philpot / Bosch Automotive Service Solutions

    It’s an interesting starting point, but those 6.5Bn devices are only the surface. For many years we have had visions of a future where we are assisted (or enhanced) by technology – whether the robot who carries out our tasks, the car that drives itself, or the emotion-detecting lamps that dim automatically when they sense romance. (I just invented the last one…) Now we have the technology – not just in the areas of processing, display and connectivity, but the critical components we use as sensors and actuators. Without these there is no connection to the real world. Are these “things”? How do we manage connectivity of an intelligent oven to the bioprobe, or of a wireless music player to the headphones? Do we go deeper and include the individual songs as “things”, or “sub-things”? At a basic level, if a thing uses data, that data must be presented in a way compatible with the thing – for example, displaying a web page differently on different devices. Metadata, then, becomes more important… defining the thing, defining the data. Compatibility becomes more important… and some device suppliers are more restrictive than others here. Will it be a highly-controlled environment or more of a free-for-all?

  11. Stefan Ferber

    Julian. Thanks a lot for your interesting comment that raises many difficult and not yet resolved challenges. My understanding is that we will learn on the way while we develop and deploy IoT applications. e.g. on the granularity: we start with rather big things like cars and production machines. Our emobility project in Singapore is a good example with networked charging stations. Once we know how to handle that we dig deeper to sensors and higher with aggregating data one higher abstraction levels e.g. from building to neighbourhood to city to states. There have been many approaches for sematic web that would provide the meta-data for all this. Until today there is no universal concept for that.
    I would like to answer your last question: The internet was and is very success to open up communication, companies, and government organizations. And I belive the same is true for the Internet of Things. If IoT is operated extremly controlled, people will not like and will not engage with IoT.


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