The Art of Keeping Track of Your Stuff”. It is a time-honored challenge across time and cultures. How are we humans tackling the problems of indoor tracking in 2019? Let’s have a look!

Indoor Tracking at a glance
Indoor Tracking can take asset management and retail personalization to a whole new level.

What does Indoor Tracking do?

The simple answer boils down to the ability to ask: “Computer! Where are my stuff?”

Of course it’d be nice to never have to spend time to look for your wallet or keys again. However once you expand the scenario from a single person to an entire organization, the benefits and opportunities multiplies by leaps and bounds.

For example, if a hospital knows exactly where all its life-saving equipment are located, it can provide more timely and efficient care to more patients.

Indoor tracking can also help with human assets. For instance, knowing exactly where your construction workers are in a construction site can ensure everyone’s safety, especially during emergencies.

Last but not least, imagine sending promotion messages to your customers’ phones right when they walk pass your store front. Wouldn’t that do wonders to your sales?

Sounds great, but why the need to specify “Indoor”?

That’s because the nature of “Outdoor” and “Indoor Tracking” are 2 very different things.

Outdoor tracking is about map-scale accuracy. You experience this every day when your phone guides you to an address. GPS has solved this problem very nicely by figuring out which satellites you can see in the sky.

By Paulsava – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

However GPS, which stands for “Global Positioning System”, is no help when it comes to “Indoor Positioning”. It can tell you which building you are in, but not which room or floor. For that, we need a different solution for that.

OK, how does “Indoor Tracking” work then?

Currently, the most prevalent method for indoor tracking involves setting up “beacons” at predefined positions. These short range beacons continuously sends out their ID, so a tracker can determine its location by calculating the signal strength it gets from all the nearby beacons.

That’s generally how indoor tracking works, but there are many variants when it comes to the actual implementation. For example, Apple pushes the iBeacon standard, while Google promotes its own version called Eddystone. The technology-in-use can also vary among Bluetooth Low Energy, Wifi and Ultra-wide band; each with its own strength and drawbacks.

Taking advantage of our unique IoT One Stop Shop strength, we at Ximplar have developed several patent pending solutions as well. You might find our exclusive offerings like EverTrack and MeshTrack suit your needs.

Sounds Exciting! What’s the future of this market look like?

While there are numerous predictions on the future of the Indoor Tracking market, they all agree on a general theme – that it is going to experience explosive growth in the coming decades.

In particular, we find the Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN) Market report (Dec 2018) by Allied Market Research quite informative. Notable predictions include:

  • The Global IPIN Market is expected to grow from US$2.6B in 2017 to US$43.5B in 2025. That’s a CAGR of 42%.
  • In terms of technology, Bluetooth Low Energy is predicted to dominate in 2025 with about 37% market share, followed by Wifi and Ultra-wideband.
  • With Apple’s inclusion of UWB into iPhone 11 in 2019, UWB may get a boost in popularity in the future. However in the short term, the high costs of UWB will still limit it’s growth. UWB components can cost around US$20, while comparable Bluetooth parts cost less than US$5.
  • Location Analytics is expected to be the biggest application of Indoor Tracking, followed by Asset Tracking and Indoor Navigation.
  • Asia-Pacific is expected to have the fastest CAGR of 48.1% through 2025.