The tech world is never left wanting for buzz words and phrases. Every year we have at least a few of them to focus our attention on. Last year it was primarily “cloud computing” and “BYOD” – short for bring-your-own-device programs. In 2013, you’re going to hear a lot about the “internet of things,” and IT consultants and custom programming providers are sure to stay busy.

Connectivity seems to be the top priority, and now it is more than just being able to update your Facebook status or watch a funny video on YouTube from your smartphone. It’s about everyday home appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and thermostats all being connected to one another.

Imagine a refrigerator that sends a grocery list to your smartphone based on its current contents, or a message popping up on your TV screen reminding you how much gas is left in your car’s tank.

Some sci-fi fans and conspiracy theorists may fear this will lead to Skynet taking over the world and a cybernetic Arnold Schwarzenegger shooting up city streets. But, in reality, the purpose of technology has always been to allow us to do things we never thought possible and make mundane or tedious tasks more agreeable and easy to accomplish.

As the internet of things develops over the next year and beyond, companies will be trying to innovate products and services to offer in conjunction with increased connectivity.

“A connected fridge is worthless if it can’t help manage your grocery list. A connected pedometer that doesn’t link calories burned to a service that also tracks calories consumed isn’t much good,” according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article. “And those services are where one can find more revenue. For example, if you can match a connected pedometer and calorie-tracking product with a service that plans meals based on a person’s activity, that’s something many people would pay for.”

Businesses in every industry imaginable will be seeking the help of technology consulting companies who can help them develop and launch all manner of products and services related to the internet of things. The year 2013 will take connectivity to a whole new level.