The Internet of Things (IoT) has been the tech trend of the moment for some time now, but lately the phenomenon has clearly been picking up speed. For proof, look no farther than the next edition of CES, due to take place January 6 to 9, where an unprecedented 900 exhibitors will demo connected ‘things' that can be controlled from a PC or smartphone, or related services.

The idea behind the IoT is to connect virtually every object to the internet, from watches and cars to toothbrushes and toaster ovens.

At CES 2015, the subject will be discussed at several keynote speaker events, including highly anticipated presentations from Samsung CEO Boo-Keun Yoon and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

Consumer applications of the IoT are expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, and according to a report from Gartner, there will be an estimated five billion connected things in circulation by the end of 2015, and around 25 billion by 2020. The automotive industry will be a key driver of the trend, as Gartner expects the number of in-car connected things to grow tenfold over the period, going from 372 million in 2015 to 3.5 billion in 2020.

"The number of connected intelligent devices will continue to grow exponentially, giving 'smart things' the ability to sense, interpret, communicate and negotiate, and effectively have a digital 'voice.'"

Overall, more than 3,500 exhibitors are due to attend CES 2015 from January 6 to 9 in Las Vegas.