The news just broke that Aruba Networks is acquiring indoor location start-up Meridian.
This acquisition is not a surprise. Based on our in-depth analysis of indoor location R&D by Aruba and over 40 other major companies in the mobile and network areas, and of Meridian and over 50 other indoor location start-ups, we think this acquisition is a match made in heaven.
First, Meridian is the strongest indoor location start-up company in the area of providing location services on top of high-end networks like Aruba's. As we've explained before, Meridian's systems enable indoor mapping, navigation, location-based content, and other services, specifically within high-end Wi-Fi networks from Cisco, Aruba and others. These high-end networks have the ability to track the locations of devices as they move around the network, but don't (until now) offer services that sites want to offer their visitors. Meridian fits perfects into that gap, offering apps that users run on their smartphones, providing mapping, navigation, content and other services.
Second, other network companies are already working to flesh out the services they offer. Last October, Cisco acquired ThinkSmart Technologies, a provider of location analytics technology that analyzes the trends and patterns in user movements within Cisco networks. Aruba is partnering with several companies for location analytics, including Euclid Analytics. Now the high-end network companies are moving themselves into the area of services.
Third, Aruba has invested considerably into their location technology. They augment their patent-pending location tracking methods with a system that adds context about each device users, such as the device's role within the network (visitor, employee, manager) and the history of that device within the network. Integrating Meridian's systems will enable them to truly leverage that location data and offer services based on that data to users moving around the network.
Lastly, the indoor location industry is now firmly in consolidation. A few months ago Apple acquired indoor location start-up WiFiSLAM. At the time we predicted that network companies, like Cisco and Aruba, would "acquire start-ups with particularly good services to offer sites, like navigation, promotions, couponing, and more." This prediction has now come true, and we expect to see other acquisitions soon.
We wish congratulations and good luck to Meridian and Aruba, and look forward to seeing the next acquisitions in indoor location. Major companies like Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and others, all have their specific gaps to fill in this area. Who will be the next to acquire an indoor location start-up, and which will it be?
Aruba's official press release is here, and Meridian's comments on their blog are here.
For more on Grizzly Analytics in-depth research and intelligence on indoor location positioning technology, click here, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.