Over the past several months, I’ve spoken to dozens of Forrester clients about many emerging technologies. A common thread that I’ve observed is they all need help seeing around the corner, identifying the next “big thing” before it becomes the next big thing. Since I recently explored additive manufacturing and autonomous vehicles in-depth, I’ve spoken to several large industrial companies. Few emerging technologies have captured the imagination of these firms like internet of things (IoT) and edge computing. Categorically speaking, this was one of the top 12 emerging technologies to watch this year as identified by my colleague Brian Hopkins in his recent report.

What I find most interesting about the IoT space (or edge, if you prefer) is its adjacency to — or dependency on — other technologies like 3D printing or mixed reality. For example, another one of my colleagues, Paul Miller, is seeking industrial use cases for augmented and virtual reality, as he explained in his recent blog post. He also recently published a Forrester Wave™ evaluation on the top 15 industrial IoT platforms. It’s no coincidence that many of those platforms have mixed reality applications on their product road map, combining two emerging technology categories.

Similarly, while I was researching additive manufacturing, I discovered that Optomec can 3D-print complete electrical circuits (think IoT sensors) on the surface area of complex three-dimensional industrial parts. What’s my point? When companies bring two or more emerging technologies together, they’re more likely to create breakthrough innovations and new sources of value for their customers.

With that in mind, let’s get back to IoT. The graphic below is a landscape of sample companies — produced with our partner, Venture Scanner — across 20 subcategories of the IoT technology market. With more than 2,100 companies and $55 billion in private investments, it’s one of the most active startup ecosystems on the planet. I’ll share more landscapes just like this across the hottest emerging technology categories right here on my blog with a fairly frequent cadence. Please check back often.

If you’re looking for help scouting emerging technology startups — whether you’re looking to incubate them, partner with them in your innovation lab, or even acquire them — Forrester can help. If you’re already a Forrester client, search for our New Tech research on Forrester.com. And if you’d like to learn more, send me a direct message on Twitter (@carldoty), or reach out to your Forrester account manager for more information about our startup scouting service.