The indoor location market has been one that analysts like Gartner have been studying for years. Expected to reach $41.0 billion by 2022, companies around the globe are bringing forward new technologies that make indoor location more accurate and useful. Recently InnerSpace was named a company to watch in the Magic Quadrant for Indoor Location Services, and included in the Market Guide for Indoor Location Application Platforms. Needless to say, we're excited about the momentum. But what has been challenging this market?
Historically, indoor location has been difficult to fully realize because either scale or accuracy has been a massive hindrance to adoption. (hint hint, this is no longer the case). But let's break this down a bit further.
Barriers to Scale
Many players in the market use custom hardware that require apps to be downloaded by the consumer in order to be useful. These have their strengths in that they can offer better accuracy in spaces like retail stores where consumers can receive information on products they're looking at, or be sent promotions based on their travel pathways. But because they depend on Bluetooth (something not everyone activates on their phones) and a downloaded app that requires opt in, adoption can be hard to realize.
To combat this challenge, InnerSpace created its own sensors which could be deployed 1/1500 sq-ft to help solve at least part of this equation. You can read about our approach here in When Sensors Outperform Beacons.
But even in the early days, we knew that to truly crack the indoor location market and make location services ubiquitous, leveraging existing network infrastructure would be key. It's why our sensors are based on WiFi. Most buildings have WiFi available - certainly public spaces and corporate office space.
The WiFi Paradox
While WiFi is ubiquitous, its role in indoor location hasn't been as central as one might expect. Major players like Cisco, Aruba, Arista and others have developed strategies to offer some level of indoor location service via their networks, but the accuracy has been such that in an indoor environment, it isn't useful. If you're in an office tower, knowing if you're on the 3rd floor or 4th is important. Likewise, distinguishing between meeting rooms and which one you're sitting in, is key to having useful data that can inform analytics, or support wayfinding experiences, or generally be valuable in the myriad of applications for location data indoors.
Today, the best these network providers have achieved is 10m accuracy, 90% of the time, or 3.5m accuracy only 50% of the time. A reliable position within 10m, or coin-flip guess within 3.5m. These aren't good enough, and as a result the adoption of these widely available location services has never really grown.
InnerSpace Brings Scale & Accuracy Together
We knew accurate WiFi location capability was the key to scale. That is why we built our sensors using WiFi, and have had the luxury of being solely focused on delivering highly accurate indoor location data for the last few years. As a result, the team here has been able to create a solution that offers sub-2m accuracy 90% of the time.
Now, as you know, we present that information today through our API so that location services can drive proprietary employee and consumer experiences, as well as our own custom apps including analytics, a mobile employee experience app, and digital signage depending on what our clients need.
But most exciting, we're now able to deliver the same location accuracy we get with our custom sensors over existing WiFi networks. You heard that right! Whether you use Cisco, Arista or Aruba access points, it is now possible to get highly accurate indoor location services through an InnerSpace integration. And we're proud to have recently partnered with Juniper Mist as part of their efforts to expand their indoor location offering.
Want to know more about how you can turn your own WiFi network into an indoor location platform? Click the button below and we'll set up a call!