The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, with the number of connected devices predicted to surpass 29B by 2030, nearly doubling from 2020. Various factors drive this expansion, including the rising demand for remote monitoring, the proliferation of smart payment solutions, and the need for robust digital infrastructure.

Market analysts anticipate the global connected device analytics market to reach a staggering $245.7B by 2033, with a projected CAGR of 23.2% throughout the forecast period. This growth is attributed to numerous sectors, including utilities, retail, transportation, and government, where IoT devices are expected to number over eight billion by 2030.

Consumer internet and media devices represent the largest use case within the consumer segment, with connected device numbers projected to exceed 17 billion by 2030. Other significant consumer trends include autonomous vehicles, connected infrastructure, asset tracking, and smart grids, each exceeding 1B devices by the same year.

These statistics paint a clear picture: the world of connected devices is rapidly expanding, presenting exciting opportunities for innovative IoT solutions development across diverse industries. This report will delve deeper into the key trends shaping the IoT field in 2024, exploring their impact on specific sectors and uncovering the latest innovations driving this transformative technology forward.

Global IoT market forecast (in billions of connected IoT devices)

6 IoT trends to follow in 2024

The world is filled with connected devices, generating data faster than ever. But raw data doesn't change the world—that's where Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) steps in, unlocking the true potential of our connected reality. Also, we will dive into the other hot IoT trends of 2024: edge processing for lightning-fast insights, blockchain securing our data-driven future, 5G and OpenRAN powering next-gen connectivity, sustainable smart cities built on AIoT, and wearables evolving from voice assistants to brain-computer interfaces. 

1. AI and ML enable intelligent IoT systems

Accelerating digital transformation demands high-quality, real-time data for smarter decision-making and automation. The IoT has emerged as a key driver, offering enterprises access to data from connected assets. This trend is evident in Omdia's 2023 Survey, where 88% of respondents reported using IoT across their organizations. 

However, the massive data volumes generated by IoT require more than just collection; they demand sophisticated analysis to unlock their true value. This is where Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) steps in. Integrating AI into IoT deployments enables intelligent systems that extract meaningful insights, automate tasks, and optimize operations. 

The Omdia IoT Enterprise Survey reveals a high interest in AIoT, with over 48% of respondents prioritizing AI/ML integration in their future deployments. This dominant preference suggests a potential surge in AIoT adoption throughout 2024. Enterprises not embracing this trend risk being left behind.

Recent studies show a surge in enterprise adoption of generative AI, with nearly 40% of IT decision-makers actively implementing or already using the technology. Only 10% expressed no interest in this IoT trend. While the precise impact of AIoT remains under exploration, near-term possibilities include faster development of IoT applications through generative AI-powered coding and the creation of synthetic data for testing and training.

Major 5G AIoT application areas

2. Edge AI improves IoT performance

The concept of edge AI, placing AI capabilities directly on devices generating data, is gaining significant traction among the IoT trends in 2024. This approach, also known as intelligent edge or edge IoT, addresses the growing data volume and latency challenges associated with traditional cloud-based AI. OEMs and semiconductor vendors are actively developing AI models and inference chipsets for edge devices, enabling real-time analysis and decision-making at the endpoint. This local processing offers several advantages: faster response times for applications like AR/VR gaming, improved data privacy and security, reduced costs from data transfer, and even sustainability benefits due to lower computational demands. While many edge devices face limitations in energy capacity, edge AI's compelling advantages drive its rapid adoption across various industries.

Global edge AI market

3. Increased focus on privacy and security

Security vulnerabilities plague the expanding IoT due to weak data encryption and limited device processing power. Hackers exploit these weaknesses, targeting devices like routers and webcams. Additionally, centralized server bottlenecks arise as the number of connected devices grows. Blockchain technology, known for its secure record-keeping in cryptocurrencies, emerges as a potential solution. Its distributed ledger provides tamper-proof data and eliminates single points of failure, addressing security and scalability concerns. 

The growing prevalence of smart home devices reliant on the IoT creates concerns about data privacy and security vulnerabilities. Centralized data storage exposes residents to cyberattacks. Implementing blockchain technology, known for its decentralized and tamper-proof record-keeping, is a potential solution. Equipping smart homes with a dedicated "miner" device and utilizing blockchain's distributed ledger system can significantly enhance data confidentiality, integrity, and protection. Similar blockchain applications are also explored in eHealth systems, where they safeguard patient privacy and facilitate secure medical data management. In IoT-based payments, blockchain enables decentralized and tamper-proof financial transactions. Overall, blockchain technology holds promise for improving the security and privacy aspects of the increasingly connected world of IoT.

Blockchain and IoT

You may also be interested in: How to ensure IoT security across system levels: a comprehensive guide 

4. 5G networks fuel the growth of IoT

The success of AIoT hinges on reliable and ubiquitous connectivity. This critical element fuels AI/ML algorithms with vast data, enabling them to learn, improve, and solve complex business problems. Cellular technology emerges as a robust solution, offering scalability, security, and diverse protocols that cater to various device requirements and remote deployments. Whether high-speed 5G or low-power LTE-M, choosing the optimal connectivity mix requires expert guidance for seamless data flow and maximum AIoT effectiveness.

The Ericsson Mobility Report projects strong cellular IoT growth, with connections reaching 3 billion in 2023 and a 12% CAGR through 2029. This surge is fueled by increasing demand for robust connectivity and advancements like NR-RedCap (New Radio reduced capability), a cost-effective solution for low-complexity devices. Additionally, 5G Advanced unlocks new application possibilities with its enhanced capabilities and high data rates. Communication service providers (CSPs) are expected to prioritize investments in both 5G Advanced and NR-RedCap infrastructure, thereby expanding the reach and capabilities of their IoT networks.

Use cases addressed by RedCap devices

At the same time, driven by its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and potential for vendor diversification, OpenRAN, a modular and open architecture for 5G networks, is experiencing significant growth. Factors like the Huawei equipment ban and rising component costs fuel CSP interest in OpenRAN solutions, with increasing testing and adoption expected in 2024. This trend has the potential to challenge the dominance of traditional infrastructure vendors and create new opportunities for OpenRAN and vRAN developers.

5. Smart cities are a growing trend

Among the IoT trends, the convergence of AI and IoT holds significant promise for building sustainable smart cities. As cities worldwide strive towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), IoT emerges as a critical technology. Dense networks of sensors gather data on various urban parameters, enabling city planners to monitor progress against sustainability key performance indicators like energy efficiency, pollution reduction, and traffic optimization. As the number of sensors and generated data increase within city environments, AI and ML are important for automating processes and creating more value from this data. For example, AIoT solutions can combine historical and real-time traffic data to predict and alleviate congestion areas. Like predictive maintenance in manufacturing, AI can enable more accurate predictions of potential downtimes/failures in city services (such as waste management and water supply) and risks, such as natural disasters.  

Impact of smart city digital solutions 

6. The adoption of wearables and voice assistants is on the rise

A surge in voice assistant adoption (85% of consumers surveyed by Capgemini use them) shows their growing role in everyday life, impacting early purchase decisions. In-car assistants serve primarily for music, navigation, and convenience features while building trust in recommendations despite occasional context issues. Similarly, health wearables are gaining traction (33% ownership, 29% planned purchases), and consumers value connected experiences (health, retail, entertainment, travel) enough to pay or be loyal. This IoT trend suggests a future where technology seamlessly integrates into various aspects of life, influencing purchasing and forming brand loyalty.

% of consumers that regularly participate in the following activities using health wearable/tracking devices

While smartwatches and fitness trackers have become the norm, the future of wearables might lie within our bodies. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) hold the potential for direct thought control of devices, offering possibilities that seem futuristic today. Although widespread adoption may still be years away, it's an IoT trend likely to dominate conversations in 2024 and beyond. 

Read more: How to find the best IoT developers and build a strong team


The potential of the IoT is vast, but the journey to realizing that potential can be complex. Partnering with an experienced IoT vendor is the right way forward, providing you with the expertise, resources, and peace of mind needed to bring your innovative ideas to life and unlock the true value of the connected world.


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