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New Tech To Drive Search And Discovery App Growth

New proximity technologies are set to drive the growth of local search and discovery apps in the coming years, Juniper Research has found.

Juniper expects that local search and discovery apps will generate revenues of US$12.2 billion annually in 2020, up from an estimated US$3.4 billion this year, with the key to this growth being the emergence of proximal wireless technologies such as: LTE Direct, Bluetooth, UWB (ultra-wideband) and Wi-Fi FTM (fine timing measurement).

In particular, a range of new services are expected to be offered to users in indoor settings.

The research has “found that retailers are rapidly deploying Bluetooth beacons in the first instance in order to develop proximity marketing services”.

“These, combined with asset tracking technology, allows retailers to develop personalised offers based on real-time stock levels,” Juniper states.

In line with this, Juniper expects retailers will spend US$2.4 billion annually on beacons and asset tracking in 2020, with Wi-Fi FTM and UWB, expected to proliferate from 2017 onwards, to provide solutions for highly accurate positioning indoors.

“Precise positioning will be the hook for many indoor location services,” research author Steffen Sorrell commented. “For example, this will provide new opportunities for brands, where virtual store assistants or shelf-level product finding are delivered directly to the mobile screen.”

The research also notes that LTE Direct, as a proximal discovery technology, will allow for listening devices to receive offers and other news, “dramatically widening the scope for proximity communications”.

“Its inability to track users’ location and low battery consumption is likely to allay many consumer concerns over existing location service technologies,” Juniper states.

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