The UK government is beginning to step up its game when it comes to the IoT.
A new Digital Government Review – Digital Britain 2015 – plans to look at how technology can improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of Britain and people-powered public services.
The IoT is the idea that objects all around us - be it smartphones, cars, fridges, toasters or thermostats - are connected to the internet. These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment - in other words when objects can sense and communicate, it changes how, when and where decisions are made - and who makes them, revolutionising industries and creating value.
The IoT is connecting new places - not only for the consumer, but across industry sectors (such as energy grids, manufacturing floors, healthcare facilities and transportation systems).
It paves the way for connecting businesses and homes - where appliances can be controlled by apps, and devices can react smartly to their surroundings (such as the heating coming on when it knows you're almost home, or turning off the office lights).
However, the big challenge facing the growth of the IoT is a lack of compatibility. Technology companies are making devices that connect to the internet, but due to a range of different systems and standards, the devices are unable to talk to each other.
In 2013, Chinese computing giant, Lenovo overtook HP as the world's biggest seller of PCs. It has shown off what it hopes will be a rival to Google Glass. But Lenovo acknowledged it needed help from other companies if the future of having an "Internet of Things" was to be realised. The device, as yet unnamed, hopes to eliminate Glass's problem of short battery life by adding a separate power device around the wearer's neck. Lenovo created the NBD system to encourage other companies to make devices on its platform.