Wi-Fi indoor location application revenues will reach $2.5 billion by 2020, according to ABI Research’s latest report. This report considers the use of Wi-Fi indoor location in retail and public venues.
“Wi-Fi, as an indoor location and analytics tool, is in a very precarious position,” says Patrick Connolly, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Apple continues to create roadblocks, while BLE beacons have not only taken mindshare but also budgets. However, Wi-Fi is ubiquitous on smartphones and available in over 50% of major retail stores in the US, giving it unparalleled reach. Previously it was an expensive and inaccurate technology but Wi-Fi access point vendors like Zebra and Cisco have all upped their game on retail analytics, while start-ups like Euclid have helped to drive adoption worldwide."
Wi-Fi’s superior penetration means it is a far better technology than BLE beacons for in-store analytics today. While proximity advertising is stealing the headlines, retailers are finally waking up to in-store analytics, which represents a major evolution on people counting and loyalty programs. This data will streamline store layouts, improve staff management, measure advertising campaign performance, enhance loyalty/reward programs and form the backbone of new smartphone services.
However, ABI Research believes that high accuracy standards like 802.11mc and Wi-Fi Aware are coming to market too late. “The time for these was two years ago,” continues Connolly. “In the meantime, most access point vendors have developed their own high accuracy algorithms to compete with other indoor technologies. Wi-Fi Aware has long term potential in a lot of markets, but there is very little for retail technology vendors to hang their hats on today. This is reflected by a general listlessness from the industry, which may create opportunities for companies that can find ways to leverage it. Intelligent companies in this space are already very advanced in hybridizing Wi-Fi with BLE, camera analytics and other technologies. This helps to achieve data validity, worldwide scale and longer term the huge potential around proximity advertising and loyalty/rewards."
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Location Based Services Research Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights and competitive assessments.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
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