Internet of Things

Work Team


The Internet of Things Observatory was set up in 2011 to address the growing interest expressed by the public and private sector in the potential offered by the new model known as the Internet of Things (IoT). In an environment where there is much uncertainty about the current state-of-the-art of applications, the Observatory intends to investigate the true opportunities of IoT applying a combined technological and management perspective on the enabling benefits and the expected developments in the market.


The Observatory’s work consists of:

  • field research to analyse the main advancements made in the market, legal aspects and technologies concerning the Internet of Things, with particular focus on the area of the smart home, smart city and industrial IoT;
  • three internal workshops with Observatory partners and sponsors, with the purpose of sharing intermediate findings and guiding the research activity.
  • four workshops to analyse in depth the vertical threads of interest to our research: the smart home, smart city, industrial IoT and legal & privacy matters;
  • a workgroup on smart homes;
  • a public convention to present the main findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by major players from the world of Internet of Things;


Within the scope of our research, the Observatory will:

  • analyse the progress of the application framework in Italy, identifying the most interesting projects and preparing a comparison with the international landscape;
  • stimulate the diffusion and the market value of the Internet of Things in Italy;
  • monitor the frontiers of innovation, analysing the most interesting start-ups in Italy and abroad;
  • study the main changes to legislation that can affect the process of spreading the IoT, with focus on gas smart metering and the issues linked to privacy and data security;
  • update the framework of applications for IoT solutions in the consumer world, with particular emphasis on smart homes, wearable devices and e-health, preparing an ad hoc survey on the end consumer;
  • organise focus groups with installers, examining the structure of the value chain within the smart home and the possibility of linking added-value services to smart products;
  • recognise the function of the IoT in developing smart cities, analysing cutting-edge solutions and the value generated in specific fields of applications (for example, value of traffic and pollution, energy efficacy savings, etc.)
  • analyse the application framework for IoT-type B2B solutions, examining in particular the most significant fields (for example, smart factory, smart asset management, smart logistics) and identifying the most representative success cases;
  • monitor the progress of technological solutions and relative standards that can support the Internet of Things and conduct a scouting exercise for IoT software platforms, looking more closely at the most representative cases;
  • set the foundations for launching pilot projects.

 Research is structured along five threads:

  • Market: a cross-analysis of the main topics linked to the Internet of Things (fields of application, diffusion, market value, etc.) and monitoring the frontiers of innovation (start-ups);
  • Technologies, platforms and standards: analysis of the technological solutions and relative standards, updating our analysis of the application dynamics with respect to the technological framework outlined in the previous research series, focus on IoT platforms and the business models that are thus enabled;
  • Internet of Things for B2C: analysis of the application framework for new smart home B2C solutions (structure of the value chain, channel logics, pricing models, success cases, etc.); monitoring the diffusion of smart home and wearable device solutions; understanding how end users feel about these solutions;
  • Internet of Things for the B2Citizen: close examination of the smart city application landscape in Italy and internationally; analysis of legislative drivers; analysis of the value of smart cities in specific fields of application;
  • Internet of Things for B2B: analysis of the most significant IoT solutions and projects in the field of B2B implemented in Italy and abroad; carrying out interviews to examine success cases involving winning business models based upon one or more added-value services.

 Research carried out by the Internet of Things Observatory is based on;

  • an empirical analysis on over 300 projects where IoT technology is used, in Italy and globally;
  • a model to estimate the diffusion of IoT and the relative market, informed by data gathered during study cases, surveys and personal interviews with offer-side players (module integrators, software houses, system integrators, telcos);
  • focus groups with the installers on the topic of smart homes, to be organised in partnership with a specialised body;
  • a survey on the end user, to be organised in partnership with a specialised body;
  • a survey extended to Italian municipalities to gather information about ongoing projects, fields of application and critical issues observed when implementing a smart city project.


Infographics 1
Infographics 15.04.2016

Internet of Things: the future is already here!

Internet of Things Observatory

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For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Internet of Things Observatory, please contact Giulio Salvadori (email: giulio.salvadori@polimi.it).