Friday, December 23, 2011

Can Microsoft, Nokia, Apple, Amazon win the indoor location services race?

All the big players (Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, etc) are working hard to move into what will be the next big thing in mobile location services, indoor or micro location. Google has made it first with it's latest Google Maps for Android feature that pinpoints users inside airports, malls, etc to a few meters thanks to either RF fingerprinting and or special WiFi nodes deployed in these venues. Microsoft has already launched indoor maps for malls and airports, but it is still lacking real-time indoor location to pinpoint users on those venue maps. Both Microsoft and Nokia have done a lot of R&D on indoor location and have many patents in this area. Maybe the next Windows Phone will have some of this technology.. Apple seems to be behind in this space, with no intellectual property. Amazon has not even started on the "outdoor" location services and the Kindle Fire tablet lacks WiFi location capability. See more on how these and 100 other companies are competing and aligning in this space here.