Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Qualcomm have joined forces to create the In-Location Alliance to improve the accuracy of indoor positioning, the next frontier of mobile services and digital signage.
Indoor positioning systems require multiple network and mobile technologies, maps, applications and middleware working together. The primary technologies will be Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi, already used in mobile devices. Integration in smartphones and other devices and the first commercial consumer applications will arrive next year.
Finding out where you are in a mall or a sports arena using a smartphone is difficult today because GPS coverage usually isn’t available. Besides improving navigation accuracy in those kinds locations, the In-Location Alliance will also prioritize low power consumption and making the technology both easy to implement and use.
As indoor positioning becomes more accurate, this could include delivering directions to the right products and promotions in nearby shops or using real-time navigation inside a building to help find a friend.
The In-Location Alliance now has 22 members, including Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, RapidBlue Solutions, Seolane Innovation, TamperSeal, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.
Patrick Connolly from ABI Research says, “The indoor location market sits on the cusp of a wave, with the market set to reach a significant number of installations in 2015-2017. With a huge number of proprietary technologies vying for position, the establishment of the In-Location Alliance can encourage innovation, lower costs and, ultimately, widespread adoption of standard-based technologies and solutions.”
So where are Apple and Google? Both have interest in the location sector and indoor navigation. Google has already launched Maps Floor Plan Marker for Android.
The In-Location Alliance is open for any industry member who is ready to further investigate business opportunities in indoor location based services and see value and benefits in industry collaboration.