The increasing number of smartphones with GPS capability will spur the growth of apps that make use of the technology, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.
The market for location-based apps will also be fuelled by the key technology trends of indoor connectivity, augmented reality, big data and wearable devices.
“Location-based application developers have so far focused on the development of outdoor applications due to the adoption of GPS positioning in smartphones. However, as individuals spend more time indoors, there is a need to roll out indoor location-based applications that capitalise on various functionalities such as mapping, navigation and geo-fencing,” commented Shuba Ramkumar, Frost & Sullivan research analyst.
The use of augmented reality could make location-based apps more interactive while a growing number of wearable devices such as Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch is “widening the scope of context-aware applications”.
In addition, the combination of location-based tech and data could “facilitate the development of smart spaces in every city and community”, according to the analyst firm.
However, Frost and Sullivan acknowledged there will be challenges, such as a lack of standardisation in indoor positioning technologies (Wi-Fi, sensors and Bluetooth). Organisations such as the In-Location Alliance should help stakeholders tackle the issue Ramkumar noted.
Limited battery life for wearable devices and dependence on smartphone for outdoor connectivity also need to be overcome, while developers will need to come up with new business models — for example, contracts with indoor venues to provide customised apps and working with wearable device manufacturers.