SOURCE: IndoorAtlas


July 31, 2014 07:30 ET

Opus Research Finds IndoorAtlas Technology Demonstrates Consistent Accuracy Within Several Feet in a Major Retail Environment

Opus Finds the "Indoor Market" Could Be Worth More Than $10 Billion; Magnetic Positioning Solution Most Complete and Cost Effective

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 31, 2014) - Indoor location and proximity marketing experts Opus Research has published a new report on IndoorAtlas and its magnetic positioning technology. The report finds that the IndoorAtlas' solution, which requires no new hardware, showed "consistent accuracy" in a real-world major retail environment.

Opus Research previously estimated that the indoor location market could be worth as much as $10 billion over the next several years. The report predicts magnetic positioning will emerge as a "foundational" indoor location technology. Magnetic Positioning uses Earth's geomagnetic field to pinpoint the exact location inside a building and is being used by pioneers like IndoorAtlas to offer three to six feet positioning accuracy (1-2 meters) in indoor environments.

"Of the technologies we've seen in action so far, magnetic positioning appears to be not only unique but the most complete and perhaps cost effective," said Greg Sterling, Senior Analyst and the author of the report. "It offers accuracy without any hardware requirements and a relatively low total cost of ownership."

The report finds that magnetic positioning can be used as a stand-alone technology. It also integrates with the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure as well as beacons. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, such as iBeacon, have recently garnered attention and emerged as another way to provide indoor location services. Yet beacons have limitations. They can only detect and manage proximity between themselves and handset location. They can't offer "blue dot" navigation inside a store or precise latitude-longitude shopper coordinates.

As part of the evaluation, IndoorAtlas gave Opus Research analysts a real-world demonstration in a major U.S. retail store. The IndoorAtlas app running on an iPhone 5 maintained real-time location (exactly or within a few feet) throughout the store. "We were impressed by its consistent accuracy during the course of our visit," said Sterling.

Among the report's key findings are the following:

  • Opus Research previously estimated that roughly $10 billion in annual marketing spending could be impacted by widespread adoption of indoor location and related initiatives. U.S. consumers spend nearly $500 billion annually on grocery, personal care and various sundries so the "indoor market" could be worth far more than $10 billion over time -- if indoor location and associated marketing can influence even a small percentage of these in-store transactions.

  • There are multiple technologies bringing indoor location and offline analytics to stores, malls, sports stadiums and other venues. These technologies include cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth beacons (e.g., iBeacon), inaudible sound waves, LED lighting, magnetic positioning and "pedestrian dead reckoning," among others.

  • Many retailers already have guest Wi-Fi, which can be used to locate consumers in stores (on Android devices) with roughly 40-feet accuracy. However, in order to achieve this consistently throughout the store, most retailers would be required to install additional access points, which can be costly across hundreds of business locations.

  • Merchants just getting started with indoor location are typically unclear about their specific needs and which technologies best match them. The array of available technologies, together with uncertainty about their capabilities and accuracy are causing some hesitation among buyers in the market.

  • An indoor technology that has received limited attention is "magnetic positioning." It uses the Earth's geomagnetic fields to enable the smartphone's compass to precisely locate individuals within indoor spaces. It requires no hardware installation and is compatible with iOS devices. There is currently only one startup pursuing this approach, IndoorAtlas.

To request a copy of the full report please email

About Opus Research

Opus Research is the leading IT industry analyst firm focused on indoor positioning, offline analytics and advanced mobile-location targeting. In addition, Opus Research covers "conversational commerce," the merging of automated speech processing technologies, intelligent assistants, contact center automation, enterprise collaboration and mobile commerce.

About IndoorAtlas

IndoorAtlas was founded in 2012 by Professor Janne Haverinen and four other PhDs in computer science, as a spin-off from research conducted at the University of Oulu. The patented technology utilizes built-in magnetometers in smartphones to detect anomalies in the geomagnetic field to help users reliably navigate through indoor spaces without any additional infrastructure. IndoorAtlas is headquartered in Mountain View, CA and Oulu, Finland.

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