Table of Contents
Combining Location, Mapping, Augmented Reality and Wearable Devices
Smart Spaces refer to the use of location-based applications in an indoor or outdoor environment, to provide an interactive and informative experience for the user with the surroundings. Presently, the location-based applications market includes mobile applications for mapping, navigation, transport updates, traffic reporting, parking availability and location-based advertising. This research study discusses key factors that are expected to have an impact on the future of the location-based applications market, such as indoor connectivity, augmented reality, big data and wearable devices. It analyses the opportunities and challenges presented by these trends and how it affects key participants in the market.
Wearable devices are the current hot topic in the mobile devices market, especially since prominent IT innovator Google Inc. announced its Google Glass and with many other major manufacturers, such as Qualcomm Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, joining the wave of innovation. Wearable devices are likely to revolutionise the mobile device ecosystem and provide improved and more intuitive experiences for consumers. These devices could be electronically-powered glasses, watches, wristbands or even clothing that infuse technology into the everyday lives of consumers.
One of the primary benefits of these devices is the ability to provide services that are adapted to the location of the user. As with a smartphone, such devices can inform the user about his surrounding and offer information for easier navigation. However, the advantage of a wearable device over a smartphone is its ubiquitous presence, thereby allowing the consumer to go about his everyday activity, while at the same time absorbing information from the surroundings.
The proliferation of mobile and wearable devices that support location-based applications is expected to contribute to the development of smart spaces. Smart spaces refer to the use of location-based technology and data to keep individuals informed and facilitate interaction with their surroundings, wherever the user may be (outdoors or indoors). In this research service, Frost & Sullivan describes the present market for location-based applications and augmented reality and discusses how these can combine with wearable devices to provide an interactive and informative experience for the individual in relation to his/her surroundings. It will also discuss how location-based applications on wearable devices can be beneficial for consumers, as well as enterprises.
Evolution of Location-based Applications
Long before the development of mobile devices with location-based applications, individuals resorted to the use of paper-based maps, enquiry centres or websites (accessed via mobile broadband) for questions related to travel directions or public transport schedules. However, these measures did not always yield positive results, as enquiry counters may not have accurate information all the time and searching websites on a mobile device can be a time-consuming and tiring process.
With the development of accurate geo-positioning systems, technology has evolved to accommodate accurate mapping services that can communicate information about the location of a user through an application on a mobile device. The market for location-based applications has grown from the provision of simple mapping services to advanced services, such as location-based advertising, incorporation of 3-D mapping to provide a realistic experience for consumers and indoor mapping services that make indoor public spaces, such as shopping centers and museums, more interactive. The following section discusses the scope for location-based applications, describing the popular services available today and avenues for future development.
Market for Location-based Applications
Location-based applications refer to the use of mobile devices to provide services in accordance with the location of the individual.
One of the most fundamental location-based applications used by customers is mapping and navigation. Dominated by Google, the market for mapping and navigation services using global positioning systems has reached a mature stage, with offerings from leading participants, such as Nokia Corporation, Microsoft Corporation and Apple Inc.
Mapping applications are developed based on inputs from developers. In addition, contributions through crowdsourcing are also used to deal with challenges that developers may face.
In order to survive in this competitive market, it is important for vendors to provide value-added services, in addition to accurate, quality mapping data. Therefore, applications may also offer other services, such as weather, traffic updates and public transport schedules.
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