The Opportunity for Indoor Positioning
Mobile locations based services enabled by the ubiquity of GPS on smartphones and tablets are used every day by many consumers and business users. Developers increasingly combine location information with the outputs of onboard sensors to enrich their applications with contextual information. Accurate indoor positioning opens up a new set of possibilities for mobile services. Such solutions based on the commonly supported WIFI and Bluetooth Smart technologies are beginning to gain traction in the market. The ILA aims to accelerate adoption of indoor positioning based services by the definition of common standards that will ensure compatibility between components from different vendors.
The expectations of the market potential for indoor positioning are significant as IDTex says that the addressable market is around $10B with healthcare expected to be the first to expand. Markets and Markets also note that CAGR will be double digit at 42% as the worldwide market is expected to increase from $448M in 2013 to $2.6B in 2018.
We expect the benefits of services based in indoor positioning to be initially realized by large venues such as hospitals, shopping malls, exhibition centers, and airports. Venue owners will be motivated both to offer a better user experience to their visitors and customers by adding contextual awareness to applications, and will benefit themselves from improved customer satisfaction and increased levels of analytics available from these services.
Retail uses of indoor positioning, such as within a shop or shopping mall are the most commonly discussed as a number of well-known retail giants are exploiting indoor positioning based services to increase engagement with their customers. The types of applications deployed include mobile couponing, in-store assistance, advertisements for new products, floor planning analytics and theft control.
Once the indoor positioning solutions to support these early market services are in place, more advanced services will be rolled out. These may include navigation, gaming such as geocaching, and social networking further deepening the engagement between the business and its customers. Further, venue owners can also be expected reap additional benefits as the improved customer analytics which can be used to optimize not only customer experience, but also the venue’s internal processes and logistics.
However, indoor positioning services are not limited to retail and are applicable across all markets:
• Healthcare is also expected to benefit with opportunities existing from improved navigation for patients or tracking of equipment within hospitals, to tracking vulnerable patients enabling them greater freedom in their homes, to improvements to ensuring that patients do not take on excessive workloads when rehabilitating in the gym.
• Manufacturing will be able to improve existing processes for asset tracking, process control and traceability systems that track products through their manufacture.
• Finally, venues such as exhibition centers, museums and even educational campuses can be expected to benefit from indoor positioning services such as local information such as the agenda for the nearest conference room, automated digital concierge, audio guides of museums and social networking applications.
These are just a few examples. The In-Location Alliance is actively working to make those scenarios and more part of the everyday life.