There will soon be more than five billion electronic devices connected to the internet, according to research firm IMS Research. In addition, the number of computers and laptops connected to the internet is now outnumbered by the number of smartphones and other devices that are hooked-up. Ian Weightman, President of IMS Research, said: “In the first connectivity wave, the bulk of devices connected to the Internet were PCs and laptops plus their associated modem and networking equipment. Today, over 1 billion computers worldwide are regularly connected to the Internet, and this number is growing steadily.” The second wave of growth is being driven by the cellular industry, and the global number of Internet connected cell phones has now surpassed the number of connected computers, and is growing at a much faster rate." He also talks about a third wave of devices that could drive connection figures through the roof: "The potential for greatest growth comes from the third wave which will include machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments. This has the potential to go way beyond industrial applications to encompass increasingly sophisticated smart grids, networked security cameras and sensors, connected home appliances and HVAC equipment, ITS infrastructure for traffic and parking management, etc.” Let's hope that no-one tells SkyNet about all these devices.