First, there was the “Cloud.” Now, the latest trendy phrase is the “Internet of Things.” Both have something in common. BlackBerry has been the pioneer in each sector.

BlackBerry essentially created “the cloud,” but was unfortunately too sluggish to capitalize on their services. This lead to other market leaders to offer remote backup and other cloud solutions.

However, BlackBerry is a leading pioneer in a new, fast-growing market segment. For years QNX technology has been embedded in automobiles and other devices offering connection to the internet long before anyone heard the term “Internet of Things.”

Internet connected devices in Canada alone is expected to triple in the next four years, according to a new forecast by IDC Canada.

And BlackBerry is positioned well to take a large chunk of the market. Alec Saunders, BlackBerry’s vice-president of QNX Cloud, said the challenge for BlackBerry is to be heard above “the noise in the market today,” in an interview with Financial Post.

“Many people casually toss the term [‘Internet of Things’] about, but lots don’t understand what we’re really talking about,” said Saunders. “So being able to rise above that and demonstrate the value that we have to our customers is a really important thing we need to be able to do over the next 12 months.”

But what sort of profitability is in what might seem like a niche market? Smart-connected things is expected to grow from 28 million last year to 114 million units by 2018, in Canada alone, according to an IDC Canada report.

Internet of Things spending is also expected to increase from $5.6 billion last year to $21 billion in 2018.

Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that about 10 billion things have been connected to the Internet. They expect that to increase by more than 50 billion globally within the next decade, with more than 95% of those expected to be consumer-focused devices.

BlackBerry looks to be taking the “Internet of Things” market head-on with their Project Ion. If successful, the “Internet of Things” could be one lucrative revenue stream for the recovering company within a few short years.