Location-based services (LBS) are also known as location services, or indoor location-based services, or mobile location-based services/wireless location services. LBS is a ground breaking technology that provides information about ‘where’ the user is. The data is provided based on the geographical location of the user. This technology is having a great impact on the world currently and is changing the way of living and doing businesses. Businesses now have knowledge about the physical position of a user at any point of time. Location-based services technology allows users to use services that are mainly provided based on their geographic location or position. This is anticipated to present significant opportunities to service providers.
Location-based services, such as location-based marketing and advertising and location-based social networking, navigation, and tracking, are being widely used by many people around the globe. About three quarters of smartphone device owners are active users of location-based services. The indoor location-based services market is expected to expand at a rapid pace in the coming years. However, compared to other areas of the location-based services, the indoor location-based services market is still in its initial stages. People spend most of their time in offices, homes, and generally indoors. Indoor location-based services contribute minimally to the overall location-based services market in terms of revenue. This is due to some challenges that still remained to be addressed. Indoor positioning, accessibility to indoor maps, and associated privacy concerns are some of the key challenges of the indoor location-based services market.
The indoor location-based services market is estimated to expand in the coming years. The indoor location-based services market is expected to be driven by the introduction of connected smartphones by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and increase in the number of advanced applications for connected devices. Indoor location-based services use geographical information system (GIS) technology to find places and directions and to obtain navigation information and traffic updates.
Moreover, these services are used for attaining information regarding the location of local events, promotional campaigns, and infotainment. The usage of location-based services is likely to improve marketing effectiveness and increase customer support services and delivery services such as food delivery, parcel or courier delivery services.
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Indoor location-based services such as tracking and indoor navigation still have to take care of both technical and non-technical issues. Due to this, these services have not yet gained momentum. Dependability and availability of indoor positioning technologies, readiness of up-to-date indoor maps, and confidentiality concerns related to location information are some significant challenges to their development. The position of a device user is determined directly by the smartphone of the user, which could also turn into a safety issue.
The indoor location-based services market is regulated by various security compliances in most regions in order to prevent the misuse of information. Industry players, such as online retailers, who provide location-based information have to follow standards laid down by local regulating agencies. Indoor navigation with automatic positioning is normally used as a client-based application.
The global indoor location-based services market is expected to expand at a robust pace in the near future. North America is likely to be a dominant region of the market, owing to the presence of a large number of service providers in the region. The indoor location-based services market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a rapid growth rate, owing to a rapid increase in the use of location-based services and applications in sectors such as retail, transportation, logistics, etc. across the region. Expansion in the retail sector in Asia Pacific has facilitated the implementation of location-based systems. This is a key driver of the indoor location-based services market in the region.
Key players in the indoor location-based services market are focusing increasingly on research and development of the technology in order to upgrade existing systems with advanced features. Key players operating in the indoor location-based services market include Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, TomTom, Apple , Ericsson, Qualcomm, Pitney Bowes, and infsoft GmbH.