by Anton Shilov
08/24/2012 | 12:27 AM
This week 22 technology companies from different industries formed the In-Location Alliance to drive innovation and market adoption of high accuracy indoor positioning and related services. Among the founding makers are Nokia Corp., Samsung Electronics, Sony Corp. and Qualcomm, very important players on the market of cell phones. Unfortunately, Apple, Google, HTC, Microsoft and many others have not yet joined the alliance.
Accurate indoor positioning opens up plenty of possibilities for new mobile services. For a consumer this could mean, for example, receiving directions to the right products and personalized product promotions in nearby shops; using real-time navigation inside a building; finding the precise location of assets and people; and even increasing security in emergency situations. For facility owners and local service providers this could enable, for example, increased local customer identification; enhanced product placement; and better customer satisfaction by deploying resources when and where needed.
The alliance will focus on creating solutions offering high accuracy, low power consumption, mobility, implementability and usability. It will create an ecosystem that stimulates innovation, enhances service delivery, and accelerates the adoption of solutions and technologies that optimize the mobile experience.
Founding members include: Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.
Alliance members will pilot the most promising services and use cases from a business and solution point of view. The other important task for the alliance is to ensure a multivendor environment by promoting open interfaces and a standard-based approach.
Alliance members are encouraged to execute their own pilots and present their data to the alliance. The primary solutions will be based on enhanced Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy technology and Wi-Fi standards using relevant existing or coming features of those technologies. These technologies are commonly used in mobile handsets and are thus a natural starting point for the alliance's efforts.
Pre-commercial pilots and business model verifications will start in 2012, while 2013 is expected to bring mobile handset-based implementation enabling the first consumer applications in the indoor mobile environment.
"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," said Patrick Connolly, an analyst with ABI Research.