The year indoor location will truly take off

For years I've been writing sentences like "this will be the year that indoor location will explode into the market." I, and many others, have been expecting indoor location technology to enable the huge range of location-enabled apps, which currently work only outside where GPS signals are available, to work inside. But until now the promise of indoor location has remained a promise.
But if we look at the reasons for this, we'll see that it is about to change. 2017 and 2018 are poised to be the years that the challenges keeping indoor location from going mainstream will be solved.
First is accuracy. Most indoor location technologies until a year or so ago had accuracy in the range of 4 to 8 meters. This sounds good in principle, and in fact is better than GPS in many cases. But GPS systems are able to use road details to hide their inaccuracies, so that the blue dot seems to follow your driving car almost perfectly. But indoors, this sort of inaccuracy means your phone thinking you're on the wrong aisle of a supermarket or in front of the wrong counter at the food court. Bottom line, the user experience we all want requires more accuracy.
Second is setup and configuration. Most indoor location systems on the market in the past few years have been based on Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, BLE beacons are fairly cheap, and can be installed throughout a site, every 30-40 meters, to give better performance (or so is believed) than Wi-Fi based systems. But installing this many beacons, and mapping the site to measure the Bluetooth signals at each point in the site, takes a lot of time. This is especially true for big sites.
Third, all the indoor location technologies reaching market recently have come from small start-up companies. Are these companies able to deliver the solutions that the market will want, and maintain them at all the sites at which their technology is being deployed? Can the companies developing the core technology also handle the load of deploying it at sites worldwide, integrating it with existing site applications, and maintaining it?
new report from Grizzly Analytics shows that all of these factors are now solved in a growing number of solutions reaching market. First, accuracies of 2-3 meters are becoming increasingly common in the market. (This was shown in the 2016 Indoor Location Testbed.) Second, several new technologies have reduced considerably the setup and configuration time required, including SLAM, crowdsourcing, infrastructure-free positioning, and more. Third, ongoing M&A is bringing indoor location technologies into the hands of major companies, and the ecosystem is maturing into a form in which one set of companies is delivering technology and another set is deploying it in the market.
All of these factors indicate that 2017 will be the year that indoor location technologies can truly deliver what the market wants. The real explosion may take until 2018, but it is happening.
Want to follow developments in the indoor location area? Sign up here to receive Grizzly Analytics updates, or sign up here to learn about indoor location technologies being exhibited at MWC2017.

Newly updated comprehensive report on indoor location technologies

NEWLY UPDATED: Comprehensive Report on Indoor Location Technologies 

The indoor location area is exploding, and will soon reach a tipping point in adoption.
The above line has been the opening sentiment of Grizzly Analytics reports on Indoor Location since 2011, when our first report on indoor location was published. The logic has always been clear: The numbers of companies deploying their solutions in trials skyrocketed each year, and mobile app users are so dependent on outdoor location awareness in their mobile apps that the demand for indoor is clear.
Unfortunately, while the number of indoor location solutions reaching market has risen dramatically, the number of indoor location systems entering true commercial use, beyond trials or experiments, has not yet truly taken off.
Why hasn't indoor location taken off yet? Will it? When?
Grizzly Analytics believes that the answer is multifaceted but a resounding YES. Four challenges have been preventing indoor location technologies from crossing the chasm. And all four are now reaching tipping points, with solutions profiled in this report solving the challenges successfully. With these challenges solved, the industry can truly reach its huge potential.
First, many indoor location systems are achieving significantly better accuracy than was achieved 2-3 years ago.
Second, many solutions today are requiring less tedious setup and configuration than was previously required. This includes use of SLAM and crowdsourcing technologies.
Third, M&A and strategic partnerships has brought the innovations of start-up companies into the strength of major companies.
Fourth, a mature ecosystem has developed in which companies are specializing in vertical industries, and incorporating location technologies from other vendors.
These trends will, we believe, drive a rise in full commercial deployments by the end of 2017, and integration with mass-market apps in 2018.
This newly-updated Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Technologies gives technology details of how all of this is happening.

Finding indoor location tech, and fans, at MWC 2017

Over 100,000 people are now planning to attend the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in February. Many will flock to the newest devices, many to the keynote speeches from market leaders, and many to the latest tech from a huge variety of exhibitors.
But how does anyone find all the tech they want to see? Anyone who has been to MWC in the past will tell you that there is no way to be sure you're seeing all that you want to see.

Anyone interested in indoor location technology now has a solution. The Grizzly Analytics Guide to Indoor Location Technology at MWC2017 will list all the companies at MWC that are demonstrating, presenting or talking about indoor location tech. (Obviously we may miss one, but since we've reported on indoor location tech from over 200 companies, we expect to be fairly comprehensive.) The guide will be organized by technology type and also by MWC hall number, so you can plan your time accordingly.

If you are exhibiting indoor location technology, in any stage or form, the guide is your chance to attract those visitors who are really interested in what you're showing. A basic listing in the guide is absolutely free.
So sign up now to receive, or be listed in, the Guide to Indoor Location Tech at MWC2017. And feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have about indoor location technology.

Announcing the Guide to Indoor Location Tech at MWC

We are happy to announce the Grizzly Analytics Guide to Indoor Location Technology at MWC 2017. This guide will be available for free before MWC, and will include entries for all the exhibitors showing or talking about indoor location technologies.

Are you attending MWC? The conference is so big that you might miss some of the great indoor location technologies being shown. Sign up now to receive the guide before MWC, with time to plan your time.

Are you exhibiting indoor location technology at MWC? This guide lets you get the attention of the exact people who are interested in what you are showing. A free basic listing will include your company name, your solution type, your technology category, and the location of your booth or meeting room. If you want, you can pay low rates for expanded entries, including details of your technology, how your solution differs from others, your contact information, and much more.

Are you attending MWC but not exhibiting, but have indoor location to talk about? An expanded listing in this guide can enable you to schedule meetings with interested attendees.

Sign up now, to receive the guide when it is published or to appear in the guide. We will follow up with the indoor location companies soon to discuss details of the free and expanded listings.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have by e-mail or by chat.

Looking forward to seeing you at MWC!

MWC2017_indoor.jpg                griz-logo-2.JPG

Videos released from the indoor location testbed

Grizzly Analytics enjoyed running the indoor location testbed at the GeoIoT World Conference in May, 2016. After too long a delay, we're happy to release videos of the ten solutions evaluated at the testbed.

The videos show our team testing and measuring the accuracy of the solutions, but it is important to understand that the final analysis in the testbed report was not based on the physical measurements taken at the time, but rather based on videos and pictures taken in real-time. We did not just rank the solutions in terms of accuracy, but rather measured a variety of metrics, including real-time accuracy, accuracy after stabilization, update speed, consistency, setup and configuration time and more.

So here goes....

First up (in alphabetical order) is BlooLoc. BlooLoc had 2 solutions in the testbed, one phone-based and one that positions their own tags. BlooLoc's phone-based solution, shown in this video, combines BLE multilateration with signal propagation analysis.

BlooLoc's tag-based solution, shown in this video, achieved even better performance using their proprietary tags.

Next up is GipsTech, whose solution, shown in this video, was the only one that was fully infrastructure-free, not using any radio signals at all.

Next is Here, who also had two solutions. Their Bluetooth-based solution, shown here, used BLE beacons along with very strong signal post-processing.

Here's Wi-Fi-based solution, shown here, does the same, but with Wi-Fi signals.

Next is, whose solution, shown here, uses BLE beacons, with their own SLAM technology for self-configuration and automatic adaptation to changes in the environment.

Lambda4's solution, shown here, was another solution using their own hardware:

Movin's solution, shown here, combines Bluetooth fingerprinting with motion sensing, and runs fully on the handset.

NexToMe's solution, shown here, uses BLE multilateration along with models of the user's walking patterns.

Finally, Senion's solution, shown here, combines BLE fingerprinting with motion sensing.

It was lots of fun working with these companies and getting hands-on with so many great indoor location solutions.

For details and complete analysis of each solution's performance, see the testbed report.

Indoor Location Testbed Report Now Available!

Grizzly Analytics announces the publication of a new report analyzing the Indoor Location Testbed which took place at the GeoIoT World Conference in May, 2016. This report analyzes ten indoor location solutions, from eight companies, evaluated along a wide variety of metrics.

There have been indoor location competitions in the past, which often evaluated indoor location solutions in terms of a single measurement of accuracy. In this testbed, Grizzly Analytics has measured many more metrics, including real-time location accuracy, location accuracy after stabilization, time to stabilization, accuracy consistency, set-up time, numbers of beacons or locators deployed, and more. This makes the evaluation much broader in scope and relevant to a wide variety of applications and requirements.

Two solutions were the top performers in the phone-based segment. One solution was the top performer in the infrastructure-free segment. One solution was the top performer in the dedicated hardware segment.

More generally, this report demonstrates a number of significant conclusions. One is that all solutions delivered accuracy better than 4 meters after stabilization, and several delivered accuracy below 2 meters. Another is the strength of the infrastructure-free segment, often thought to deliver much worse performance than beacon-based solutions. Another is the strength of SLAM and SLAM-like technologies.

This report is a must-read for everyone working with indoor location technologies, everyone in the mobile arena that would benefit from integrating indoor location technologies, everyone with a large site that would benefit from deploying indoor location solutions, and anyone wanting to evaluate indoor location companies.

To read more about this report, or to purchase it on-line, click here or visit the following link:  You can also contact us or chat with us live.

Last week Grizzly Analytics had the pleasure of organizing the GeoIoT World Indoor Location Testbed. The conference was amazing and it was great working with the testbed participants. All the solutions at the testbed did better than the commonly accepted industry standards.

The GeoIoT World Indoor Location Testbed was the first event to evaluate and compare indoor location solutions in a real-world manner, measuring a wide variety of metrics. While others focus exclusively on accuracy, our testbed measured latency, time-to-stability, consistency, set-up time, numbers of beacons used (when relevant), and more. We are also segmenting our analysis along a number of dimensions, including the use of dedicated hardware, sensor fusion, Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi, and more.

The Testbed included ten solutions from eight companies, including two that tracked dedicated hardware, two that used Wi-fi signals of opportunity, and six that use BLE. Some integrate sensor fusion and some do not. The number of beacons deployed per company ranged between 12 and 30 for those who deployed beacons. Set-up time ranged from a few hours to several person-days. Collectively, these solutions represent the techniques used by the majority of mobile indoor location solutions on the market.

The companies that participated in the testbed are: BlooLoc, GipsTech, Here,, Lambda 4, Movin, NexToMe and Senion. BlooLoc and Here had two solutions evaluated.

Over the upcoming weeks we will first release preliminary results, and then follow up with a full report available for purchase. We also plan to release videos of the solutions in action.

Want to know when the results and testbed report are available? Sign up with the form below to receive notifications. 

The buyer nobody considered: How Apple can leverage Yahoo

The past few weeks have brought the latest in several rounds of speculation regarding Yahoo! being acquired. Microsoft has been grabbing the biggest headlines, but speculation has discussed Verizon, Facebook and others.

I find it surprising that one of the most logical acquirers has not been mentioned. Namely Apple. Yahoo will compliment Apple's strengths, fill their gaps, and most importantly give them leverage for iDevice sales.

Apple, for all of their success in devices and media sales, does not have any strong position in mass market web services such as e-mail and search. Microsoft has Outlook (formerly Hotmail) and Facebook has mobile messaging (even for non Facebook users) and a controlling position in content consumption and advertising. Google has GMAIL and dominance in advertising. Apple, however, dominates media sales on iDevices through iTunes, but has very little for non-iDevice users. Are there any Apple services that are used by non-iDevice users?

Acquiring Yahoo would catapult Apple to a strong position in e-mail, search, news and other web services. While it will take work to turn around Yahoo's downward momentum, Apple has the cash to invest in it.

The critical factor, however, is that Apple can benefit from Yahoo's web services in ways that nobody else can. While others will look to Yahoo for direct profits, Apple can leverage Yahoo for device sales.

Unlike Google and Microsoft, Apple's primary profits come from device sales. Sales of music and movies are profitable, but their primary value is in creating the unique value proposition of iPhones, iPads and iPods for media consumption. This is in stark contrast to Amazon, who profits primarily from sales and not from devices, and Google, who profits primarily from advertising and not directly from Android.

What this means is that even if Yahoo's services are not profitable enough to support a company, Apple will benefit heavily if they leverage Yahoo services to motivate iDevice sales.

GMAIL users looking to buy a smartphone know that they can get better Google integration on Android phones. Google contacts and calendar are strongly integrated with Android, and Google apps such as Maps are often more advanced on Android than iOS. This Android support for GMAIL and Google services has paid off for Google: GMAIL user numbers have risen from 96M to 135M in the past 2 years, largely attributed to GMAIL being integrated with Android.

Suppose Yahoo mail users knew that iDevices would offer stronger support for Yahoo mail than Android? Suppose Yahoo contacts and calendar were integrated directly with iDevices? If Apple would gain even a small percentage of additional iDevice users, it would gain much more from Yahoo ownership than direct profit.

What other company can benefit so much from Yahoo services even if the profit from Yahoo services is lower than desired?

To date the idea of Apple acquiring Yahoo is pure speculation. It is true that most Apple acquisitions have been fairly small technologies that fill gaps in Apple's technology roadmap. They have had numerous acquisitions in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, but few in the Billions, and none the size of Yahoo.

But Apple's war with Google and Microsoft is heating up. Apple is losing device market share to Android devices, and when Apple's business model is built around device sales, this market share is central. As increasing numbers of smartphone buyers base their buying on e-mail and software integration, a Yahoo acquisition might be just the trick for Apple to counter Google.

Newly updated report on Sub-Meter Accuracy Indoor Location Positioning Technologies

Out of over 200 companies developing and delivering technology for indoor location positioning, the 28 companies profiled in the newly updated Grizzly Analytics report on Sub-Meter Accuracy Indoor Location Positioning Technologies deliver indoor positioning to an accuracy of less than one meter. While this level of accuracy is not important for some applications, for many applications it is critical.

For solutions determining which store in a shopping mall a user is in, or which booth in a conference a user is near, positioning within several meters may be sufficient. But for solutions tracking whether a customer is standing in front of the pretzels or the chips in a supermarket, or which patient in a hospital ward a nurse is checking, or other similar applications, accuracy within less than a meter is necessary.

In the past year we have seen particular growth in four specific areas. The first is dedicated hardware systems that track the locations of smartphones using innovative methods. The second is lighting based systems, in which customized LED lights transmit signals that are received by smartphone cameras. The third is visual camera-based systems, which use computer vision technology to determine location or track motion. The fourth is the incorporation of high accuracy location positioning chips into electronic appliances, such as wearables, Internet of Things, Smart Home, and
more. In addition, a small number of companies have achieved submeter accuracy by adding innovation to common software based methods.

The 28 companies whose technologies are analyzed below are on the cusp of high accuracy indoor location technologies. These companies present the opportunity right now to deliver highly accurate location positioning indoors.

Click here for more details on the report on Sub-Meter Accuracy Indoor Location Positioning Technologies, or e-mail us for more information.

Intel's IoT demos at CES show the importance of location in IoT


Intel has focused very strongly recently on the Internet of Things and wearable markets.
In their showcase at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, they showcased several applications of IoT that involved location tracking.
Their incorporation of chip-based location tracking technology shows the significance of location tracking in the nascent Internet of Things and wearable markets.

It was just announced that Intel's air-band demo used wireless location tracking chips from Dublin-based DecaWave. DecaWave sells chips and embeddable components based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) radio that can track chip locations to within 10cm. More important than accuracy is the speed of update - the DecaWave chips update location calculations between 125 times per second and 2000 times per second, depending on the configuration....

See the full article here at SeekingAlpha.

Location Aware Consumer Electronics at CES 2016

One of the most exciting new trends in consumer electronics is taking a page out of a mobile industry playbook: indoor location technologies.

GPS has transformed mobile applications, with wide varieties of apps incorporating location into social networking, store finding, media sharing, news, and much more. Newer technologies, most famously Bluetooth beacons, have started to enable location apps to determine locations indoors.

What does this have to do with consumer electronics?

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) includes several innovative consumer electronics devices that use indoor location positioning technology to deliver incredible functionality to their users. Many of them are doing so using innovative chip-based indoor location technologies, delivering better accuracy than is available on mobile. As the products you can see at CES reach market, the new trend of location-aware electronics can transform how people use electronic devices, as surely as GPS has transformed mobile apps.

Below are a few location-aware electronics products that you can see at CES. Each one is cool, innovative and useful in their own right. But taken as a group, they show how big a trend location-aware electronics will be in 2016.

Skye Electronics, a Chinese start-up company, has developed a drone that will follow you as you move around and video you from the air. Their product includes tracking device armbands that are worn by the user being videoed, and which are followed by the drone. Rather than using GPS, which would limit their product to outdoor use and would introduce tracking errors of several meters, Skye Electronics uses indoor location technology to track the armbands precisely, anywhere.

Paris-based SevenHugs has developed a radically different kind of universal remote control. Everyone knows about universal remote controls, right? Lots of buttons that let you select which device you’re controlling? Wrong. SevenHugs’ neweset product lets you point the remote at whatever you want to control, and figures out by itself what you want to control, using indoor location technologies. The remote determines its own location, the location of the controllable things in the vicinity, and the orientation and direction in which it is being pointed, and can easily determine what to do based on how the remote is held. It even changes its display screen to fit the controls of the device being controlled. You can see the SevenHugs remote at CES in the Eureka Park at Sands Expo.

If you play sports, and want to do more than have a drone capture your video, ShotTracker might interest you. ShotTracker tracks all the action on a basketball court. Not only are the players tracked as they move around the court, but the ball itself is also tracked, so that coaches and players can see exactly what happened post-game. ShotTracker developed a ball with an integrated UWB chip in collaboration with Spalding, to ensure the highest quality with added location tracking technology. Their highly accurate location positioning is handled by chips from Dublin-based DecaWave. You can see the newest ShotTracker system in action at CES in the Fitness & Technology area.

A shopper assistant robot, from a Taiwanese company called XYZ Robot, moves around a store with customers, offering assistance and pushing their cart. The robot’s indoor location technology enables it to find its way around the store and also to stay alongside the customer. Their shopper assistant guides you to products on your shopping list, pushes your cart and offers you promotions. By delivering this indoor location functionality in a robot instead of a mobile app, Kinpo enables their device to achieve much more accurate indoor location positioning than can be achieved by smartphone apps.

There are more location-aware electronics to be seen at CES, and even more reaching market from innovative companies worldwide. One notable location-aware product not at CES is the robot camera from France-based Move ‘n See, which uses indoor location tracking to take videos of people as they move around a site.

All of these location-aware electronic products, and others, use indoor location positioning technology to incorporate location positioning into their products. This report analyzes indoor location solutions available in chip form, for incorporation into electronic devices such as those above. DecaWave, mentioned above, is one of the leaders in bringing chip-based location technologies to market, but there are many others with very strong technology as well.

The spread of indoor location technologies from mobile to chips is enabling electronic devices to become location-aware, and is ushering in a tidal wave of location-aware electronics that will change how we use the next generation of electronic devices.

Regardless of which of these products you want to own, the trend is clear: location aware electronics are reaching market. So keep your eyes out for location-aware electronic devices at CES, and keep on imagining how location-awareness can transform the other electronics in your life.