Monday, 18 April 2016 21:26

Proximity-powered local search app revenues: $12 billion by 2020

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‘Emerging technologies [are] fundamental to 250% growth’ in the local search and discovery apps market and $12.2 billion annual revenue by 2020, according to Juniper Research.

The gurus at Juniper Research have uncovered that ‘Local Search & Discovery apps will generate revenues of $12.2 billion annually in 2020, up from an estimated $3.4 billion in 2016.’

We are told that ‘the key to this growth will be the emergence of proximal wireless technologies, such as:’

  • LTE-Direct
  • Bluetooth
  • UWB (Ultra-Wide Band)
  • Wi-Fi FTM (Fine Timing Measurement)

Of note is that fact these technologies will be ‘particularly pertinent in indoor settings, where a range of new services can be offered to the end-user.’

Indoor Location Services on the Rise

Juniper’s new research, entitled ‘Context & Location Based Services: Advertising, Retail & Emerging Technologies 2016-2020’ (and on-sale to relevant parties at relevant prices) found that ‘retailers are rapidly deploying Bluetooth beacons in the first instance in order to develop proximity marketing services.’

These, combined with asset tracking technology ‘allows retailers to develop personalised offers based on real-time stock levels.’

And so, Juniper expects retailers to spend $2.4 billion annually on beacons and asset tracking in 2020.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi FTM and UWB, both of which are expected by Juniper and the industry to proliferate from 2017 onwards, ‘will provide solutions for highly accurate positioning indoors.’

Juniper research author Steffen Sorrell said: “Precise positioning will be the hook for many indoor location services.

“For example, this will provide new opportunities for brands, where virtual store assistants or shelf-level product finding are delivered directly to the mobile screen.’

LTE-Direct To Drive Engagement

Additionally, Juniper’s research found that ‘the commercialisation of LTE-Direct will be an exciting prospect for vendors and end-users alike.’

As a proximal discovery technology, ‘listening devices will be able to receive offers, news or be notified of events within the vicinity, dramatically widening the scope for proximity communications.’

However, its inability to track users’ location and low battery consumption ‘is likely to allay many consumer concerns over existing location service technologies.’

More below, please read on.

Other Key Findings

  • Falling costs for precise positioning technology in agriculture will drive growth in the precision agriculture industry as end-users strive for more efficiency.
  • The industry remains wide open for data analytics services to capitalise on the opportunity presented by location data, with many companies lacking the expertise to maximise its potential.

As per usual, there is an accompanying whitepaper with addition detail, entitled ‘Context & Location Services ~ Real-Time Relevance,’ which is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with further details of the new research.


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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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