There are now more gadgets on Earth than people

A pile of mobile phoneIt’s not quite the Singularity, but for the first time ever our species is outnumbered by active mobile devices, many of which we officially consider to be “smart,” including a growing percentage that only communicate from one machine to another.

According to the US Census Bureau’s world population counter, we are currently just a few million shy of 7.2 billion people on the planet. That figure is growing by about 2 people per second, or 1.2 percent annually. But head over to the counter of active mobile connections maintained by mobile analysis firm GSMA Intelligence and you’ll see that there’s currently over 7.2 billion SIM cards operating in the world right now, and that figure is growing over five times faster than the population counter.

“No other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It’s the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever — from zero to 7.2 billion in three decades,” said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co. in a release highlighting the milestone. Kimberlin’s firm was an initial investor inMillicom, a startup that works to bring mobile connections to developing countries with the help of partnerships with bigger names like Facebook. >more