The stage is set for some one billion downloads of indoor location applications by 2016, according to an ABI Research report.
In the study "Indoor Location Smartphone Applications", a variety of indoor location and proximity technologies can be found in a range of different application categories, such as retail, navigation, enterprise, personal tracking and social. Services such as advertising, ambient intelligence, augmented reality, photography, and local search, can also be enhanced.
As smartphones proliferate, and privacy barriers come down, location will become increasingly used to enhance existing and new services, said ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte. "Indoor/ubiquitous location is a natural extension of this inevitable trend," said Bonte.
"The market is still very nascent with a number of major handset vendors yet to decide on what technologies they will adopt," comments senior analyst Patrick Connolly from ABI Research.
"In particular, any decision from Google will have huge repercussions, depending on whether it opens up the Android platform or not," added Connolly.
There are also issues around indoor maps, data ownership, and interoperability across technologies, buildings, and OS platforms, according to Connolly. "By 2016, the ecosystem will have evolved sufficiently that ABI Research is forecasting strong adoption of indoor location applications, catalysed by the increasing availability of in-store applications and services," said Connolly.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.