You've heard stories about him before – the savvy stock analyst who gets his hands on the hottest new smartphone before Verizon's first bulk order ships… only to smash it to bits so he can see what's inside.
The idea is simple: If you know which company manufactures a small – but key – component in the product, you can invest in it and make a bundle.
It's true. In technology, the people who manufacture the devices within the devices make a huge amount of money. Their investors do, too… especially when they get in right at the beginning.
That's why this is such a big moment for us.
Right now, I'm looking down the barrel of a device that will be made by the trillions – and in demand in every single sector of the economy. From agriculture, to smartphones, to eyeglasses, and even to diapers.
Imagine a device that in the next two years will become ubiquitous. Meaning that within five feet of your person, at any one moment in time, you'll likely find 20 or 30 of these devices.
That's how big this revolution is. I want you to remember that you heard it here first. I want you to see the numbers, too.
Getting in on this now is like getting in on Intel in 1970, when the $110 billion giant we know today sold its first chip.
Only, this is bigger…
We're About to Connect 500 Billion Objects
There's a new term people use to describe this sea change: the Internet of Things (IoT).
Basically, it means a variety of sensors will transform the world's objects and materials into smart, interactive devices. And this new wave that's already cresting will cause demand for sensors to skyrocket.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq GS: CSCO) says IoT will connect a minimum of 500 billion objects. Each of them will have at least one sensor, and many will have 10 or more.
And the demand isn't tied to objects of "high tech." Everything from forklifts to watches will depend on these sensors.
So let's take a closer look at this surging sensor demand, starting with one of its more familiar applications…
100 Billion Sensors (and Growing)
It's sensors that allow you to rotate your phone and have the screen turn with it. They can measure and compensate for the angle of tilt as you walk while at the same moment pinpoint your exact location, allowing you to be truly mobile.
Currently, there are a total of 5 billion cell phones in the world. Of that, roughly 1 billion are smartphones. But users are moving from basic cell phones to smart ones at a dizzying rate. Just among Android devices alone, 1.5 million are being activated every day.
Overall, industry forecasts predict the world will soon see 5 billion smartphones. And as the number of apps explodes, these phones will require as many as 20 sensors each. That totals a minimum of 100 billion sensors in this sector alone.
And remember, that doesn't count the sensors embedded in either tablets or laptops. Nor does it count the sensors in mobile commerce transponders that will soon cover nearly every checkout station in the world.
Auto & Infrastructure:
1 Billion Sensors on Our Roads, Billions More In Our Roads
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.