Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Upside for Indoor Beacon Personal Proximity Apps

While the broad concept of the Internet of Things may be difficult for people to grasp, one basic concept is already familiar within the mainstream population -- that being the practical benefits of GPS and location-aware technologies.

Healthcare, enterprise, mobile wearables and indoor beacon applications will help to revive the global positioning system (GPS) tracking device market, with ABI Research forecasting the market to reach over $3.5 billion in 2019.

The GPS personal tracking market has always had huge potential yet it has faced significant barriers around awareness, expensive devices, cellular subscriptions, indoor location and market fragmentation.

As a result, market development has never been able to scale sufficiently to lower costs and create the revenue to support much needed marketing and advertising campaigns. But that's about to change.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, the upside will now be driven by the adoption of GPS applications across family, lone worker, pets, personal assets, the elderly and in-home healthcare.

"The potential of this market continues to draw investment and interest. Over the last 12 months, there has been a host of companies entering this space," said Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI Research.

A steady stream of start-ups with new GPS applications are moving into areas such as mobile workforce management, while the connected home market will evolve to support personal protection apps across children, pets, cars, etc.

Moreover, telecom service providers that are eager to solve the problem of saturated markets for traditional services have already begun to reconsider this space with the dawn of GPS-enabled wearables and the Internet of Everything.

This growth potential is reflected in a significant increase of GPS IC shipments into this sector over the past year, as low-cost GPS units become adopted worldwide for a host of new practical applications.

Beacons are set to be a major market driver, solving the issue of indoor proximity awareness, while also creating a low-cost entry point for vendors. With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons forecast to penetrate into all aspects of life over the next 3 years, consumer awareness and acceptance will emerge.