Next year, approximately 380 million connected things will be in use in cities for this purpose, growing to 1.39 billion units by 2020, according to Gartner.
Over half (58%) of the smart city projects employing IoT next year will involve smart commercial buildings and transportation.
Among other things, IoT will help cities track their progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner, said IoT sensors will hasten the development of smart cities. "Cities will become the environmental centers of excellence for new technology development, offering a stress test environment for the industry," said Tratz-Ryan said. "The advantages for cities will be profound."
But while many are looking hopefully toward the future of IoT, concerns over its implementation persist, particularly when it comes to security. Connected devices have been used to create robust botnets that malicious actors can use to disrupt networks. Recently, the U.S. CIO urged the healthcare sector to be wary of device interoperability. That same suspicion can be extended across sectors looking to implement IoT.