According to a new report from ABI Research, Apple is one of many tech companies that are getting ready capitalized on the indoor location market, which is likely to be worth over $4 billion by 2018.
Apple has already made its intentions clear by omitting Near Field Communication technology in their latest iPhones. The company has opted for iBeacon, a new technology that uses Bluetooth LE 4.0 communication protocol, .
“ABI Research’s quarterly Location Technologies Market Data measures the uptake of indoor location technologies, mapping and new companies entering the space. The overall market of technology installations is forecast to break the 25,000 mark in 2014, while handsets capable of supporting indoor location will be in the hundreds of millions within two years. As a result, the major companies will start to make their moves,” the report said.
Senior analyst Patrick Connolly comments, “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 beacons, a technology that is set for a huge 2014 as major IC and device OEMs make it widely available. Google continues to expand on indoor mapping, and has openly discussed some of its indoor location plans at I/O. On the Wi-Fi side, four major AP 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.”
Practice Director, Dominique Bonte adds, “Apple hasn’t made a big marketing deal on indoor with the new iPhone 5s, largely because the ecosystem isn’t in place yet. But under the shiny, spotted hood, is a hardware platform that is now well placed to support “always-on” indoor location, sensor fusion, and ambient intelligence.”