Keep an eye out for these IoT movers and shakers of 2015

Monica Alleven, FierceWirelessTechSo much for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications--that part of the wireless industry that used to get knocked for its low average revenue per unit (ARPU) tendencies. Now it's the Internet of Things (IoT), a colossal category that not only includes M2M but also every other kind of thing imaginable, from toothbrushes to cars, and it promises to brings lots of revenues.

Given the nature of the IoT and activity buzzing around it, FierceWirelessTech thought it might be a good time to step back and take a look at which companies are making the biggest waves in the IoT space. Industry analysts shared their thoughts on which companies they're going to be on the lookout for in 2015. This was no formal survey by any means, but it provides a quick "watch list" of companies as we head into the new year.

Of course, the IoT is made up of many sectors. An IC Insights report notes that the largest IoT semiconductor market segment, for example, will continue to be connected cities, which includes smart electric grids, roads and street lights, as well as other public infrastructure.

For the purposes of this special report, FierceWirelessTech tried to focus on companies that work across platforms rather than in specific verticals. However, as readers will see in our first call-out, that's easier said than done. The connected home is one area where hundreds of things are being connected today, from thermostats to light bulbs. But popular opinion--or common sense--tells us that no one wants to use a ton of apps to maneuver all these "things" in the home.

"You want a command center" where all these things are connected, as opposed to separate apps, says Gartner analyst Hung LeHong. The big question is: Which company is going to provide that control center? It could be Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), AT&T (NYSE: T), Samsung Electronics--or someone else coming out of left field.

The point is, this is just one segment of the IoT, and everyone and their brother and sister seem to be vying for a piece of it. Cisco projects that the Internet of Everything--which it defines as the networked connection of people, processes, data and things--will generate $19 trillion in value between 2013 and 2022.

For more, check out our special report on the IoT movers and shakers, and let us know what you think in the comments section.--Monica