There’s spam in my fridge — the ‘internet of things’

By Graham Hann

We would be missing a major hyperbole opportunity if we didn’t include a few facts and figures: according to Cisco, during 2008 the number of devices connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on Earth for the first time — by the end of 2011, 20 typical households were already generating more internet traffic than the entire internet in 2008; according to the Chartered Institute for IT, there are around 200 connectable devices per person on the planet today and it is estimated that by 2020 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet (predictions vary on this figure, but let’s just say all the numbers are big); Google’s acquisition of the connected home technology company Nest for $3.2bn (£2bn) was its second-largest ever acquisition (after Motorola); a Dutch company has pioneered wireless sensors in cattle so that when one is pregnant, or ill, it sends a message to the farmer; and the BBC reported this month that a fridge has been discovered sending spam emails after a web attack — it was one of more than 100,000 devices used in a spam campaign.

So what does all this mean for the global economy and which sectors will benefit most? The economic benefits will touch all sectors of industry, but key areas for growth certainly include: smarter transportation — the most profound changes are likely to be seen in the area of logistics, for example commuters will be able to make decisions on routes and where to park based on information their cars receive from road sensors (there are other potential benefits though, with Toyota already testing cars that talk to each other to reduce the risk of accidents); smarter energy — by 2020, it is predicted that more than 60 per cent of connected devices will be related to monitoring or delivering energy; smarter manufacturing — including real-time inventory systems and pre-emptive maintenance of machines to name two benefits alone; smarter payments — using near-field communication (NFC) and other technology in devices; smarter homes — with connected technology monitoring and controlling lighting, security systems, temperature, humidity, energy consumption, domestic appliances, watering systems and so on; and smarter healthcare — remote patient monitoring in the US is predicted to save an average of $12,000 per patient and significantly reduce hospital-acquired diseases…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Taylor Wessing briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Taylor Wessing

View more briefings from Taylor Wessing

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • merger deal

    Corporate crunch time: who will triumph at The Lawyer Awards 2014?

    As the equity capital markets rocketed back into favour and global M&A saw at least a partial return to form, there have been some rich pickings for The Lawyer’s Corporate Team of the Year award shortlisted firms in 2014. 

  • singapore orchid

    Singapore: Cash course

    The city-state is working hard to become a global wealth management hub, and law firms are gearing up for a prosperous new world

View more analysis from The Lawyer


5 New Street Square

Turnover (£m): 241.20
No. of lawyers: 860 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 6
No. of qualified lawyers: 73 (International 50)
No. of partners: 29