GPS goes beyond mobile phones, PNDs

03 Sep 2008

GPS is slowly becoming a standard feature in handsets but there is plenty of room for applications specific to vertical markets outside of mobile phones and personal navigation devices, according to IMS Research.

IMS noted emerging vertical markets for GPS and location services in other devices such as laptops, digital cameras, and gaming consoles.

Tom Arran, IMS market analyst, predicted the non-cellular GPS market to increase more than six fold.

"However, GPS is not infallible and its proliferation is bringing indoor performance to the fore,' he said. "Each vertical market has its own requirements, technical and cost limitations, services, and opportunities"

There are also myriad of ways to implement accurate location technologies, via GPS or otherwise. Companies will require a variety of different GPS, connectivity, and indoor location technology combinations to address these markets effectively, IMS said.

The British Ministry of Defense had 68 laptops stolen in 2007, highlighting the increased need for device security.

Integrated GPS provides this capability as well as enabling and enhancing a host of new and existing applications on laptops and ultra mobile PCs. Dell and Lenovo have both recently announced GPS-enabled business laptops, utilizing a GPS/HSPA combination from Ericsson, an example cited by IMS.

'Companies that can combine the computing power and connectivity of laptops with the obvious limitations of indoor GPS will see a lot of success," Arran said.

In the camera market, IMS predicts geotagging will become the next big trend. Already, it noted online communities like Panoramio are hosting more than 2 million photos that have been geotagged.

Embedding location technologies on cameras brings a more user friendly version to the masses, driving uptake, IMS said.

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