Google is quickly cobbling together a location-based service infrastructure that combines WiFi, GPS and dead reckoning with cellular triangulation a last resort, but such patchwork solutions are yeilding to ubiquitous radio-frequency solutions from Boeing, NextNav and Glopos which pinpoint locations with a single proprietary technique, thus catapulting location-based services into the next-generation: R. Colin Johnson
Here is what ABI Research says about the next-generation of location-based services: Google has been named the leading alternative location vendor in the latest Competitive Assessment released by ABI Research. The report looks to the future, considering companies best placed to provide a high-accuracy, ubiquitous location solution on which a range of applications and services can be supported. Google’s value chain support, relative market share, and combination of wide-area (GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular) and future precision indoor technologies, illustrates how it’s bringing together all the necessary elements to remain a success in this space. Qualcomm is ranked 2nd with the Nokia/Microsoft alliance ranked 3rd.
ABI Research’s “vendor matrix” is a key component of the overall assessment. Alternative location vendors were compared across 15 criteria, falling under the broader categories of “innovation” and “implementation.”
On implementation, Qualcomm tops the list scoring highly for its hybrid approach, value-chain support, privacy, and partnerships. Its iZat platform offers a range of location technologies across a number of device markets. Google is ranked second with Skyhook Wireless ranked third. Skyhook Wireless has established itself as a viable Google-alternative for Wi-Fi location and location analytics, and a strong score for markets supported as it expands into femtocells, eBooks, and gaming. However, its lower innovation score reflects the need to move into indoor technologies and results in a lower overall ranking.
On innovation, Google is ranked 1st thanks to its work on precision indoor technologies, developer support, and low implementation costs. Qualcomm and Nokia/Microsoft are joint second, with Apple third due to its lack of current indoor location technologies. Nokia/Microsoft’s surprising overall ranking is largely based on its long-term innovation and potential rather than its current offerings. The partnership has many of the elements necessary for a strong alternative location ecosystem in place. Nokia’s In-Location Alliance should bring about a new wave of indoor location technologies, in particular its low cost, high accuracy Bluetooth solution.
“With Wi-Fi and cellular alternative location now standard technologies in the cellular space, the hunt is on to meet future mandate and indoor requirements. Boeing, NextNav, and Glopos represent some of the most interesting ubiquitous, indoor and outdoor solution providers covered in this report,” says senior analyst Patrick Connolly.
This Competitive Assessment provides a rating of the leading GPS IC vendors. A total of 15 companies were analyzed scrutinized against several criteria in addition to a market share analysis. These findings are part of ABI Research’s Location Technologies Research Service.