The Internet of Things allows businesses and people to connect formerly unconnected things -- like cars and industrial equipment -- to the Internet in order to collect and analyze data, and create automated systems. 

And while the Internet of Things (IoT) may seem like just a tech buzzword right now, its potential is huge. Over the next five years there will be nearly 50 billion things connected to the Internet, and all of those devices and their services will generate an estimated nearly $7 trillion in revenue and cost savings. 

And it's not too late for investors to get in on the IoT's growth. Click through the slideshow below to find out where the Internet of Things is headed and how you can benefit.

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Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and 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.