Month: February 2019

Indoor Location Services – Opportunity for Leadership!

Just noticed the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Indoor Location Services, 2019 and one thing glared at me, again. Vacancy in the leadership QUADRANT. It was like this in 2018 too!

By 2022, 65% of enterprises will require indoor location asset tracking (both people and equipment) to be part of all access layer infrastructure communication decisions (up from less than 10% today) and yet there is no LEADER. Or, shall I say there is clear OPPORTUNITY.

The real challenge is that no one has yet definitively cracked the code on how to make adoption easy. Google, Apple, Microsoft … they all see the indoor space as the next BIG frontier but there is no one that can help with BLUE DOT easy.

The struggle starts from the moment you start looking to install the RTLS infrastructure.  Whether the use is way finding, proximity services, personalized experience or asset tracking—maximizing the value of a solution requires a pervasive deployment.

  • How will you power all the RTLS receivers or Transmitters?
  • How will you install cables everywhere?

If you decide to use Battery based RTLS receivers/transmitters than you will end up doing significant battery management.  Periodically changing batteries by going from receiver to receiver (or transmitter to transmitter) in person, finding and replacing a malfunctioning receiver (transmitter), changing parameters, or security updates – nothing is easy. With batteries, you also end up establishing processes for re-charging, storing, and disposing of the batteries you’ll use.

Many Wi-Fi companies added BLE (Bluetooth low energy support) in their Wi-Fi Access Points so that the access points can act as iBeacon transmitters as well as BLE receivers to alleviate the need of additional battery or installations. This is a step in the right direction indeed, however, the location accuracy is “limited”.  Furthermore, these solutions require additional access points from same vendor or need to be augmented by battery based solutions. Recent AI based solutions such as https://www.themarysue.com/wifi-positioning-system-mit/ suffer from accuracy too.  

There’s an untapped universe of data around physical locations that businesses can utilize and the right approach can transform real-time location-based services across retail, hospitality, healthcare, industrial and many more industries.