Indoor location market to reach $4 billion in 2018, predicts ABI

Possible applications include location-based coupons and enterprise asset tracking

The indoor location market is forecast by ABI Research to reach $4 billion in 2018, fueled by wireless technology as well as vendors offering venues such as shopping malls, warehouse retailers, airports and stadium products to provide content and services to mobile device users based on their location.

Using location-based services, retailers can offer coupons on discounts to shoppers based on their location in shopping malls. In addition, indoor location services can be used by enterprises to track and manage assets.

The overall number of indoor location technology is expected to top 25,000 next year, while mobile devices capable of supporting indoor location services will reach hundreds of millions within two years.

"Apple's new A7 co-processor coupled with the acquisition of WifiSLAM highlights indoor as a priority. Both Apple and eBay have announced support for dedicated BLE [Bluetooth low energy] beacons, a technology that is set for a huge 2014 as major IC [integrated circuit] and device OEMs make it widely available," commented ABI senior analyst Patrick Connolly.

"Google continues to expand on indoor mapping, and has openly discussed some of its indoor location plans…On the Wi-Fi side, four major AP [access point] providers--Cisco, Motorola, Aruba, Ruckus--have now acquired a company in this space. It was also interesting to see Nokia retain its mapping and indoor capabilities, identifying it as a new area for future growth," he added.

Research firm MarketsandMarkets is more sanguine about the growth in indoor location services, predicting that it will reach $2.8 billion in 2018, up from around $450 million this year.

"The major forces driving this market are the increasing customer intimacy and venue-based marketing strategies, poor performance of GPS in indoor environments and government initiatives in developing positioning systems for public safety and urban security segments," the research firm explained in a release.

"The increasing demand for location-based services and applications in smartphones among users have given rise to the new business value chain, leading to growing network deployments at venues for indoor location and indoor positioning and indoor navigation," it added.

According to IndoorLBS, there are at least 170 companies operating in the indoor location, indoor maps, in-building tracking and indoor navigation markets.

For more:
- see ABI's release
- check out MarketsandMarkets release
- see the IndoorLBS report

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