Championed by the new Apple iPad, the market for touch-screen internet tablets is predicted to grow to more than 60 million sales a year by 2015. A number of Apple's competitors say they will release their own tablet this year. An inbuilt mobile connection provides a constant internet access.
In Europe and North America, governments are putting billions of dollars into modernising national electricity grids. The so-called "smart grid" of the future will be built around electricity meters that connect to the internet to share data on consumption patterns and spot prices for power.
Alarm systems typically connect to a landline telephone network to notify authorities of a house break-in. But these physical connections are far easier to sever than a mobile link, which security and insurance companies are increasingly advising clients to install.
Making household devices such as airconditioning systems, ovens and security products remotely accessible via mobile or internet applications is predicted to become a US$25 billion (Dh91.82bn) business by 2015. In homes that cannot be easily or cheaply rewired, or for tenants, connecting via mobile networks is seen as the most promising option.
The healthcare industry has already rolled out a number of medical monitoring systems that transmit data on a patient's health back to doctors, hospitals and emergency services. Cisco, the networking company, and Phillips, the healthcare equipment maker, have already introduced dozens of these devices. firstname.lastname@example.org