The "Internet of Things" refers to machines that are themselves gaining a presence on the Internet, and is an area that Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) CEO John Chambers recently suggested could generate as much as $14 trillion in profits over the next 10 years. To capitalize on this trend, you can invest in networking companies like Cisco, cloud computing companies, like VMWare (NYSE:VMW) -- that aid in the handling of data -- or participants down the line from the machines. Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), for example, which already allows you to go from search to map to mobile coupon, could integrate communications directly from those products you ultimately buy. Similarly, investors might consider retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), which has already considered the use of RFID chips to bring products into the "Internet of Things."

In the video below, contributor Doug Ehrman discusses the connected machines and some of the ways that you can capitalize on Chambers' prediction, and why this is such a critical area of technology.

Fool contributor Doug Ehrman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems, Google, and VMware. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and VMware. 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.