What Is "The Internet of Things"? We Traveled 9,000 Miles to Find Out

With Apple and Google both pushing to become major players in the Internet of Things, the Fool goes on a 9,000-mile journey to explore the trend.

May 31, 2014 at 5:30PM

"Industrial Internet could add a sizable $10 [trillion]-$15 trillion to global GDP -- the size of today's U.S. economy."
-- General Electric

"We estimate the potential economic impact of the Internet of Things to be $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion per year by 2025."
-- McKinsey & Company

The numbers surrounding the "Internet of Things" are astonishing, and with each passing week more and more companies are planting their own flags on the emerging trend. 

Earlier this week, the Financial Times broke a story: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) planned to embrace the Internet of Things by creating a new app to control smart home devices. 

Apple wasn't the first large Silicon Valley company to embrace the trend. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) spent $3.2 billion to purchase Nest earlier this year in its own "smart home" play. Most of Silicon Valley is racing to reorient its marketing around the term, which is causing a buzz for everything Internet of Things-related. 

Yet while the hype around the Internet of Things is getting deafening, it's still an esoteric term for many investors. The most basic question investors want to know is, simply, "What is the Internet of Things?"

At its core, the Internet of Things is simply taking devices that previously weren't connected to our digital world and giving them connections to the Internet.

But that's an overly broad explanation for the far-reaching implications of a trend that promises everything from automating our homes to creating "smart cities." We wanted to provide a clearer look at what exactly the Internet of Things is and, even in the infanct stages of the trend, how it's already in play across the world around us. 

So, we wanted to make the Internet of Things real. We went to visit companies on the bleeding edge, inventing the future in places you might not expect. In the dead of winter, we flew to a place many would call crazy. We flew to the Arctic Circle and visited a company powering some of the devices we wear. Its Internet of Things category saw 1,425% sales growth in the past year, and the category expects another 300% growth in 2014.

We also visited a city that's being built from the ground up as a smart city. Along our journey, we'll travel 9,000 miles canvassing the Nordic region for innovation where you least expect it. 

So join us in the preceding video, as we dive into what the Internet of Things is, and how it can transform our world. 

This $19 trillion industry could destroy the Internet
One bleeding-edge technology is about to put the World Wide Web to bed. And if you act quickly, you could be among the savvy investors who enjoy the profits from this stunning change. Experts are calling it the single largest business opportunity in the history of capitalism... The Economist is calling it "transformative"... But you'll probably just call it "how I made my millions." Don't be too late to the party -- click here for one stock to own when the Web goes dark.

Eric Bleeker, CFA owns shares of Alphabet (A shares) and Apple. Rex Moore owns shares of Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers