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Indoor Location growing and gaining speed

Indoor location is like a snowball rolling down a hill - it just keeps growing and gaining speed.

In our newly updated report, we show that there are over 30 start-up companies in the area, and all the major chip makers are working in the area as well.  That's in addition to active research by all the major mobile companies (Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, ...).

In the middle of 2011 Grizzly Analytics observed that almost all the start-up companies in the area were basing their technology on Wi-Fi fingerprinting, and that we were surprised by the lack of start-ups  taking other technical approaches such as motion sensing by sensor integration. We reported lots of research in motion sensing by the major mobile companies, but not start-ups.

Now, less than a year later, our updated report includes nine start-ups working on using sensors to track movement indoors. (See one demo video video here.)   At least eight start-ups are working on signal triangulation or other methods that are more general-purpose than signal fingerprinting. And at least ten are using signal fingerprinting to bring indoor location services to market in malls, airports and other locations near you.

Chip makers and mobile companies are also active in the area. Google has released indoor positioning and Microsoft's Bing features indoor maps.  New chips are handling both radio signal trianguation (using a variety of methods) and motion sensing by sensor integration, aiming to offer indoor location in hardware. Some mobile companies are showing demos of their own (like this one), and others are doing their research behind the scenes.

We expect the acquisitions to start soon.  Will chip makers, who are already researching the area, acquire start-ups with algorithms in the area of motion tracking by sensor integration? Will companies like FourSquare and Facebook acquire start-ups whose technology can identify which store in a mall the user wants to check in to? Will companies like GroupOn acquire start-ups with very general-purpose technology that can identify what stores a user is near? Will Apple & Google acquire companies that will make their indoor mapping more accurate and pervasive?

To understand this new area NOW, check out the newly updated 163-page Grizzly Analytics report, titled Indoor Location Positioning: Research Pipelines, Start-ups and Predictions.  We'll explain the technical approaches, show you what's being researched by major mobile companies and chip makers, the differences between the start-ups in the area, and more.

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