The Location Industry: State of the Union

by Dominique Bonte

The location industry has come a long way. From hesitating experiments with LBS-offerings by carriers based on Cell-ID positioning technology at the end of the nineties it is now a multi-billion dollar navigation industry with the Personal Navigation Device having reached the status of an established mobile device category similar to digital cameras and MP3 players. That leap is no mean feat, and a large number of outsiders have difficulty accepting and acknowledging it. At the same time, location technology is conquering converged solutions with handsets increasingly being equipped with GPS-receivers and LBS-applications on the verge of a breakthrough. While we do not expect converged devices will replace dedicated navigation and GPS devices any time soon, we do expect that they will allow location to become an intrinsic enabling feature of all mobile devices and systems, increasing overall mass market consumer awareness. They will also marry location to connectivity, a trend that is already spilling over into dedicated GPS solutions such as PNDs.

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