Alternative Location Revenues to Reach $8B by 2017

By Beecher Tuttle May 17, 2012

The wide-area alternative/hybrid location market is expected to exceed $8 billion by 2017, powered mainly by the installation of GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular location technologies in devices like cameras, tablets and portable gaming machines, according to a new study from ABI Research.

"Ultimately the volumes are in cellular handsets where hybrids of GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MEMs, NFC, etc. will provide increasing levels of accuracy and ubiquity indoors and out, creating the perfect platform for LBS, location analytics and hyper-local advertising," said senior ABI analyst Patrick Connolly.

"This will place significant control in the hands of carriers and handset vendors and represents both opportunity and competition to the precision indoor location market," he added.

While the indoor market is continues to garner all the headlines, ABI believes that wide-area alternative/hybrid location technologies are more viable revenue generators, at least today. However, a number of companies are already putting the pieces in place to converge the alternative and precision indoor markets, Connolly said.

Eventually, the lines between the two markets will blur.

More than 30 different companies currently market precision indoor technologies, according to ABI practice director Dominique Bonte. "By working directly with retailers, these technologies will empower them to own their own maps, data and advertising, enabling them to own the customer and compete with Google, etc."

The report comes on the heels of ABI's wireless sensor networks study, which found that the market for IEEE 802.15.4 IC technologies will experience a compound annual growth rate of over 60 percent from 2010 to 2016.

Technologies like advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) equipment and home automation, home entertainment and medical devices are expected to drive the market to more than 850 million units per annum by 2016. ZigBee, the most widely-utilized IEEE 802.15.4 technology, will account for roughly half of all units sold by 2015.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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