By the year 2020, IBM believes an inter-device communication platform—essentially an Internet for objects—will be possible, allowing an estimated 24 billion devices to send billions of messages between each other every hour. That would make it exponentially bigger than our human Internet, because objects outnumber people.
To understand the basic concept of the idea, just look to a universal remote of today—instead of a remote controlling and synchronizing your TV, Xbox 360, and speaker system, each device—using RFID tags—can communicate to each other to power on/off and perform the full range of their interdependent tasks. Or take shopping for instance—no more will bar scanners or perhaps even NFC be required; whatever object is being purchased will have communicated with the cash register, your credit card, etc.
IBM has personally invested into the technology by making the in-progress protocol, MQTT—short for “Message Queuing Telemetry Transport” and the device-to-device counterpart to HTTP—open-source as of today.