When you think GPS, you probably think of personal navigation applications in your car or on your handset. You probably don’t think about laptops and cameras. That could be about to change.
GPS chips and other location technologies are increasingly being included in laptops and digital cameras. This is building momentum in a separate cottage industry, according to IMS Research. In fact, Tom Arran, market analyst with the research firm, predicts sixfold growth in the non-cellular GPS market.
The research firm points out a number of emerging business development trends that could overshadow cellular’s use of GPS, such as for security and device management. For instance, Dell and Lenovo have both announced GPS-enabled business laptops, using a GPS/HSPA combination from Ericsson. Also, Intel’s new anti-theft technology is rumored to use GPS. Furthermore, its partnerships with SiRF and Gypsii illustrate that the potential for LBS and location technologies goes far beyond security.
“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. “A good example of suitable design is CSR’s software GPS/Bluetooth combo-chip with E-GPS assistance. Of course, OEMs aren’t the only route to market here. Skyhook wireless is seeing increased interest in its Wi-Fi solution from Web browsers, with a view to including small location-aware plug-ins.”
IMS Research also predicts that geotagging in the camera market will heat up. For instance, online communities such as Panoramio are hosting more than 2 million photos which have been geotagged.
Arran predicts that GPS will be adopted across the entire camera market, from holiday makers to professionals. New compact cameras such as the Nikon P6000 have GPS inbuilt while SLR cameras have had external GPS devices since 2006.
“The Worldwide Market for GNSS/GPS Enabled Devices” from IMS Research lays out the uptake and technology roadmap for 8 key markets, from PNDs and cellular to emerging markets. The report also forecasts the drivers, inhibitors and uptake of each GPS/location technology for each market.