ABI Research, the leader in transformative technology innovation market intelligence, forecasts the BLE beacon market to more than double in 2016. Given its steady growth, the market remains on track to break 400 million shipments by 2021.
“We will continue to see steady rather than spectacular growth this year,” says Patrick Connolly, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Some beacon vendors indicate that contracts are beginning to break the one million mark, but it will take time to roll these out. While retail is the main focus for many today, ABI Research expects it will be overtaken in terms of shipments by corporate/industrial, connected home, and IoT as the market moves from hardware to software-based beacons.”
Beacons are also going to have an effect on mobile advertising, and essentially create an opportunity for a new generation of advertising companies to emerge. ABI Research forecasts the dedicated beacon advertising market will grow strongly, but collaboration and aggregation of networks will also be a developing trend in 2016.
“If the beacon advertising market is going to grow, it needs reach and scale, both in terms of deployments and active users,” continues Connolly. “There isn’t really one entity out there with sufficient amounts of either at this stage.”
Looking at this year’s innovation factors, most vendors seem to be solving the issues of scale, security, and beacon management at this stage. Beacons in 2016 will support a five-plus year battery life, concurrent Eddystone/iBeacon transmission, sensor integration, and proprietary transmission of data.
“We are witnessing a shift toward proprietary, high-accuracy technology, specifically from Quuppa and Bluvision,” concludes Connolly. “As the industry moves forward, we expect to see many new device formats emerge this year that aim to address the different needs of a wide array of verticals.”
These findings are part of ABI Research’s BLE Beacon Technologies and Services Research Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.
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