The In-Location Alliance Wants To Take LBS Targeting Inside

smartphone-map-checkinA new quasi-trade group has formed to promote indoor location and mobile indoor-positioning. It’s called “The In-Location Alliance.”

Its stated objective is to “drive innovation and market adoption of high accuracy indoor positioning and related services.” The In-Location Alliance is made up of a group of 22 founding members, led by Nokia:

Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.

Missing from this esteemed group are any wireless carriers, as well as a number of companies already operating in the space — most notably Google.

Google has been hard at work on indoor location for Google Maps for some time. In addition, Bing has been adding indoor venue maps and is working closely with partner and In-Location Alliance leader Nokia. Yet Bing/Microsoft is not part of this group either. However it invites others to join as part of its press statement.

The group says that it will develop and promote open protocols and encourage broad participation by other firms and developers. The group wants to establish a set of common standards to speed of development and adoption of indoor location services. Indeed, there’s an expectation that a new industry may be created and considerable new revenue streams unlocked through indoor positioning.

So far solid business models and revenue for companies such as Point Inside and Aisle411 have been elusive. Privacy is also a major hurdle and will need to be addressed in the form of opt-in consumer participation.

Beyond these challenges it’s an intriguing area that may in fact hold great promise for companies and developers. Certainly one can imagine retailers and others using indoor location to increase customer satisfaction and help guide consumers to products on store shelves.

Advertising is also a potentially viable business model in some contexts, although it might be more like in-store merchandising ultimately. However in event spaces, airports and shopping malls one can imagine advertiser demand to target captive audiences.

This new initiative could well accelerate indoor location as a viable new frontier for location-based services.

Related Entries:

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps | Google: Mobile | Microsoft: Bing


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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