A little background…
In 1992, less than 10 years after reaching the milestone of having 1,000 devices connected, the Internet was populated with 1 million devices. By 1998 that figure blossomed to 50 million and it reached 1 billion in 2009 with an ever-increasing pace today as we trend toward the 'Internet of Things'.
According to research firm IHS, the number of connected devices well-exceeded 17 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach more than 30 billion by 2020.
Other outfits offer differing predictions for 2020, with 50 billion devices connected being the most commonly cited forecast, though this was made by companies including Cisco and Ericsson, which have since updated their outlooks to 30 billion and 28 billion.
In 2016, Intel said that it expected there to be some 200 billion 'IoT' devices by 2020.