Location-based smartphone sensor fusion presents 'huge potential' for mobile commerce, says ABI

ABI Research forecasts that there will be one billion smartphones with location-based sensor fusion by 2016

Location-based sensor fusion technology for smartphones represents a "huge potential" for mobile advertising and retail, judges ABI Research.

ABI Research forecasts that there will be one billion smartphones with location-based sensor fusion by 2016.

Sensor fusion combines data from multiple sensors in a way that is more comprehensive and useful than the data from the individual sensors alone.

"Sensor fusion is vital in enabling a consistent location experience, RF mapping and the industry to scale rapidly. Unfortunately, it is not just a case of putting in a 9-axis sensor to achieve this. Highly complex algorithms are required to optimize sensor outputs, integrate with other location technologies and combine with machine learning and data-fusion algorithms. Sensor fusion will surpass Wi-Fi and BLE as the most important handset-based indoor location technology by 2017," explains senior ABI analyst Patrick Connolly.

"We see a significant trend towards hybridization, with Wi-Fi, BLE and senor fusion proving to be vital. By 2014, hybrid solutions will have already surpassed standalone indoor location technologies on smartphones. Longer term, technologies around optical light, object recognition and LTE-direct are all forecast to offer differentiation," adds Connolly.

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.

Overall, the indoor location market is forecast by ABI to reach $4 billion in 2018, spurred by wireless technology and 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.

For more:
- see ABI's release

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