For most people, the term “connected devices” generally conjures up images and examples of smartphones and fitness trackers, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding this category to include a whole lot more. From toasters to vacuum cleaners and even garbage cans to flip flops, the IoT ‘smart’ revolution is set to connect everything you can imagine – and even some ‘things’ that you might never have thought of.

Excluding smartphones, the 10 most popular IoT consumer devices in 2022 are smart TVs, smart speakers, connected thermostats, home security systems, domestic robots, smart bulbs, energy monitors, connected appliances, smart door locks, and connected car devices.

The roll-out of 5G networks coupled with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will play a pivotal role in bringing our offline world online. The future promises to be more connected than ever, and the best-selling IoT devices of today are giving us a sneak preview of what lies ahead.

There are more connected devices today than there are people. Think about that for a second.

According to forecasts by GSMA Intelligence, the number of connected consumer IoT devices is set to reach 8.7 billion by 2022 (easily surpassing the latest global population estimates). On average, U.S. households now own a total of 22 connected devices.

Back in 1990, internet pioneer John Romkey knowingly created one of the first devices for the Internet of Things (IoT), when he built a toaster, named the Sunbeam Deluxe Automatic Radiant Control, that could be switched on and off using a TCP/IP network.

In 2022, popular IoT devices now come in all shapes and sizes. From light bulbs to game consoles, to kitchen appliances, to the cars we drive, everything is designed to communicate and exchange data over the Internet.

Top Smart Home IoT Devices in the U.S., by Ownership
Smart Home DeviceU.S. Penetration Rate
Smart TVs81%
Smart Speakers
(including Virtual Assistant)
37%
Streaming Devices25%
Smart Bulbs20%
Security Cameras18%
Connected Thermostats17%
Source: Statista.

There is no slowing down consumer appetite for smart home devices, with spending in this category predicted to reach $123 billion in 2022, according to Statista. In comparison, in 2020, consumer IoT spending was only $108 billion, according to IDC.

Consumer IoT was the second largest industry segment by size, with only spending in discrete manufacturing ranking higher. Within consumer IoT, smart home, personal wellness, and connected vehicle infotainment received the bulk of customer spend.

READ MORE: Internet of Things (IoT) Examples by Industry in 2022

The consumer IoT market remains highly-fragmented globally, with dominant players in certain categories. Using specific examples of IoT devices, Google and Amazon have the best-selling smart home gadgets, while Apple dominates the smartwatch segment.

Regularly, new innovations are arising, with global brands and niche start-ups seeking to create smart and helpful applications. For example, beauty and cosmetics giant L’Oréal recently launched an internet-connected hairbrush that analyzes your hair type as you brush your hair and recommends products accordingly.

In the remainder of this article, we take a deep dive into the different categories of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and gadgets which are making the biggest differences in our lives. Specifically, we highlight examples in the IoT device categories of smartwatches, smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart glasses, smart locks, smart light bulbs, connected car devices, and smart doorbells.

Smartwatches

The smartwatch is an example of one of the most transformative IoT devices since the smartphone and is a leader in the wearables category.

These “IoT on your wrist” devices allow you to do many of your essential smartphone tasks on the go. You can find out who called or messaged you, manage emails, check reports, pay for transactions, and even unlock your car.

The growing popularity of wearables, especially in monitoring and tracking fitness and wellness data, is fueling the record sales figures of smartwatches. According to Statista, in 2022, global smartwatch market revenue is estimated to be $43.4 billion, with 173 million devices being shipped worldwide.

North America remains the largest smartwatch market and Apple is the leading brand, with a worldwide market share of 36%, in terms of total shipments.

Apple Watch Series 8

From 2014, when Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said the wrist is “an area of great interest for Apple”, the company has occupied a dominant position in the smartwatch category with its Apple Watch product.

Today, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes with built-in sensors to measure your skin temperature, capture your blood oxygen saturation levels, and record an electrocardiogram (ECG) of your heart anytime, anywhere.

In addition, this IoT device can record your various stages of sleep, as well as connect to Apple’s own Workout app, which enables you to track your individual workout sessions.

Increasingly, you can use the Apple Watch to operate other smart home devices – making it an enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT). Finally, this smartwatch comes pre-loaded with apps to greatly reduce the number of times you need to pull out your smartphone from your pocket.

Smart TVs

A smart TV can be considered less of a television and more of an internet-connected display device specialized for entertainment.

Smart TVs are fitted with hardware to support different data connection types such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and USB standards. They have their own TV operating system with apps, which allow you to connect to streaming video services such as YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Also, smart TVs can be hooked up to any input device wirelessly, such as a smartphone, tablet, and keyboard.

According to Grand View Research, in 2022, the global smart TV market was valued at $197.8 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% through 2030. While Omdia’s TV Design & Features Tracker report estimates that 189 million smart TV shipments were recorded worldwide in 2021.

In 2022, examples of the best-selling smart TV brands in the U.S. are Hisense, Insignia, LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, and Vizio.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8

The Samsung Smart Monitor M8 is a smart TV that doubles-up as a computer monitor and an IoT management device. Specifically, this smart TV enables PC-less productivity with work apps like Office 365 and comes with an integrated IoT Hub, to give you access to various IoT devices on your network, directly from the monitor.

For example, by speaking towards Samsung’s Smart Monitor M8, the IoT Hub feature can connect over Wi-Fi to turn on devices like lighting fixtures, adjust an air conditioner’s temperature settings, and play a movie using Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant technology.

READ MORE: Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT – Connecting Devices

Smart Thermostats

The smart thermostat is one of the most compelling smart home innovations of the past decade, given how seamlessly it can fit into a person’s life.

Importantly, there is a lot more to these devices than just controlling the temperature of your home from your smartphone. Presently, the top-of-the-line smart thermostats available can learn your schedule, turn themselves down when no one is at home, and ensure the temperature is set just right for when you come back home. Moreover, these Internet of Things (IoT) devices offer all of these capabilities while consuming less power.

Smart thermostats can be controlled using voice commands and come in a variety of designs to blend-in with the look and feel of a home.

Given this backdrop, the smart thermostat market is unsurprisingly sizable, having stood at $2.5 billion in 2021. Furthermore, Statista estimates that 17% of U.S. households own a connected thermostat.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat does not need to be programmed. Indeed, this Internet of Things (IoT) device learns your heating and cooling preferences and intelligently creates a schedule that optimizes energy use.

The device features a display that only turns on when a user is within 3 feet (about 1 meter) and offers enhanced compatibility with your existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

In addition to adjusting your heating and air conditioning, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium can play songs, tell you the weather forecast, monitor your air quality, and control the smart lights in your living room. Also, the device’s integrated smart speaker comes with built-in Siri and Alexa compatibility.

In total, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium can sync with up to 32 remote sensors.

Smart Glasses

After years and years of development, smart glasses have finally left the realm of science fiction to step firmly into reality. Admittedly, progress has been slow, given that Google Glass, an early attempt to define the product category, was announced more than a decade ago but failed to gain traction.

However, the latest smart glasses from the likes of Ray-Ban, Amazon, and Bose could be game changers for the segment.

Smart glasses function just like your ordinary pair of lenses but they also feature built-in audio capabilities for listening to music or making phone calls. Moreover, some of these smart glasses are equipped with cameras for capturing photos and videos straight from your point of view.

While still early on, smart glasses are also particularly valuable for people with disabilities, specifically, those who find interacting with smartphones difficult.

Overall, the global market size of smart glasses stands at $5.0 billion in 2022, with modest expectations forecasting the category to reach $8.2 billion by 2027, implying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4%.

Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses

If you are going to wear a gadget on your face, it had better be stylish too.

With the Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses, you get to pick from a series of classic Ray-Ban designs for sunglasses and eyeglasses, with the functionality to answer calls, stream music, and take videos while you are out and about. While Ray-Ban delivers the form factor of the smart glasses, Meta Platforms (Facebook’s parent company) enables many of the device’s IoT capabilities.

In terms of hardware, the Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses have dual 5-megapixel cameras, which can take high-resolution photos (up to 2592 x 1944 pixels) and lower-quality video (1184 x 1184 pixels at 30 frames per second).

Bluetooth and the Facebook View app make the Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses a connected device, enabling media from the smart glasses to be exported to other devices, such as a smartphone. For circumstances that require a fast connection to download, like import and firmware updates, the smart glasses will temporarily connect to their internal Wi-Fi network.

Smart Locks

Picture this. You are on your way to work in the morning and suddenly cannot remember if you locked the front door. Or, you have house guests arriving and you are running late. Maybe there is an important package getting delivered to you, but you are unavailable to receive it.

The smart lock can come to your rescue in all of these situations. While they do not offer vast improvements over the actual mechanics of a deadbolt, smart locks will change the way you interact with door locks.

Smart locks can be retrofitted to your existing door lock or replace it altogether. With motorized deadbolts and built-in connectivity, these IoT devices allow you to lock and unlock your front door remotely, using an app, and can pair with your other smart home security systems.

READ MORE: Internet of Things (IoT) Security – Next-Generation Protection

Adoption of smart locks is more extensive than you might think. According to recent figures from Parks Associates, about 9 million households in the U.S. have at least one smart lock.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

With claims of being able to upgrade your existing deadbolt in minutes, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is a unique product. This IoT device has built-in Wi-Fi capability, allows remote access from your smartphone, and can sync with Siri and Alexa virtual assistant technologies. The device comes with other useful features such as unlimited user access and a log of every action on your front door.

Smart Light Bulbs

If you are looking to make your home just a tiny bit smarter, smart bulbs are an easy place to start.

These IoT devices are relatively inexpensive and as easy to install as regular LED light bulbs. Smart light bulbs offer you the ability to control lighting, set timers, and change the intensity / colors using your smartphone or voice assistant technology.

In 2022, the household penetration of smart lighting in the U.S. is estimated to be 16.9%, with forecasts of the segment rising to 47.3 million users by 2026, equivalent to 35.0% household penetration.

Presently, the most popular smart bulb brands in the U.S. include Nooie, IKEA, Philips Hue, Sengled, Cync, and Wyze. Importantly for consumer adoption, some of these smart light bulbs have low-price entry points of less than $15 per bulb.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

For anyone looking to create vibrant themes for the holidays or for a house party, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulbs are a great choice.

This IoT device comes with three or four bulbs and a Hue Bridge hub to connect and control up to 50 lights and accessories with your phone or voice assistant. Specifically, the Hue Bridge connects to your Wi-Fi router using an Ethernet cable and communicates wirelessly using the 2400-2483.5 MHz frequency band.

With the Hue Bridge, you can control the Philips smart light bulbs remotely, use scheduling, and choose from a range of colors and brightness levels, as well as preset scenes, to create an ambiance.

Connected Car Devices

A connected car is a vehicle that can communicate with devices inside and outside of the car via various networks, including over the Internet, as well as by utilizing 4G/LTE and 5G networks.

Today, connected car technology goes beyond just smartphone connectivity. There are advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) which reduce human error by offering semi-autonomous vehicle control, as well as simple tire pressure monitoring systems that give you visualized data through high-resolution displays.

READ MORE: Autonomous Vehicles, 5G and Digital Infrastructure

Unsurprisingly, given the sport’s propensity for innovation, the first ever connected car can be traced back to Formula 1 in 1980. While the first commercial connected car came from General Motors with the Cadillac Eldorado in 1996.

More recently, in a 2020 McKinsey survey, 37% of respondents said that they would switch car brands to receive better connectivity features. Indeed, data points such as this help explain the growth forecasts of the industry, which estimate that globally there will be 470 million connected vehicles on the road by 2025.

Garmin DriveSmart 65

If your car does not have a built-in navigation system, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 is a good choice to equip your ride with a hands-free, voice-controlled GPS navigator. This IoT device comes with Amazon Alexa built-in and offers Wi-Fi connectivity.

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

The Rove R2-4K Dash Cam is a car dashboard camera recorder that can capture ultra-high-definition (4K) videos while you are driving. This IoT device comes with built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, and offers a night vision mode for clearer videos in low-light conditions.

Smart Doorbells

The smart doorbell camera gives you a clear view of who is outside your door, regardless of whether you are on the other side of it.

Most users feel that doorbell cameras are good value for the money, seeing them as a cost-effective way to upgrade their home security. According to a recent report, 1 in 4 smart homes have a video doorbell, making this product set the 4th most popular category of smart home IoT devices, despite their recent entry into the market.

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

One of the main reasons why people choose to go with the Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell is its ability to keep false alerts to a minimum. Specifically, this Internet of Things (IoT) device is strong at distinguishing between people, animals, and packages.

Also, the Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell is easy to install, offers a full 180-degree view of your front porch, and records videos of up to 5 minutes in length.

More Examples of Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Devices

The reach of the Internet of Things (IoT) has already gone far beyond the realm of the typical examples of electronic devices and electrical gadgets.

Some of the weirdest and most unusual IoT devices include IoT-enabled shoes, IoT-enabled trash cans, smart beds, and even connected smart toilets. Domestic robots like vacuum cleaners and pet-focused devices are further examples of IoT devices that are experiencing increased mainstream adoption.

Additionally, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is bringing together sensors, computers, and networks in industrial environments to collect and generate data that is used to monitor, control, and improve processes. Examples of IoT devices in this category span multiple industries, including manufacturing (especially automotive and aviation), and large-scale or capital-intensive sectors such as retail and agriculture.

READ MORE: How the Industrial Internet of Things is Transforming Business

Adam Simmons covers Towers for Dgtl Infra, including American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI), SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX), Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR), IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS), and many more. Within Towers, Adam focuses on the sub-sectors of ground-based cell towers, rooftop sites, broadcast / radio towers, and 5G. Adam has over 7 years of experience in research and writing for Towers.

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