Thursday, January 17, 2008

GPS applications to hit 900M units by 2013

The use of GPS technology in consumer, business, and industrial applications, such as telematics and asset tracking, will expand the market to more than 900 million units by 2013, market research firm ABI Research said.

"Personal Navigation Devices for in-car use will be increasingly complemented by converged solutions based on GPS-enabled handsets for pedestrian navigation and Location Based Services," said Dominique Bonte, ABI Research principal analyst. "However, GNSS technologies will have to be combined with other positioning solutions such as assisted-GPS, Wi-Fi, and dead reckoning to address the indoor coverage issue. Dedicated GPS devices will remain the preferred option for specific applications and environments such as outdoors, marine, recreational aviation, and tracking of people and animals."

Industrial GPS applications include precision agriculture, machine control, construction, surveying, and timing. The use of GPS in military systems will also remain important, ABI suggested. Marine, avionics, military, and surveying applications require GPS to be complemented by other technologies such as sonar, radio, or laser for improved precision or coverage. This has allowed Garmin and Trimble to successfully develop products for a wide range of applications and segments.

Advances in GPS chipset development will also enable the integration of GPS technology in all mobile devices at a low cost by 2013. This will drive new applications, such as the automatic geotagging of pictures taken with digital cameras. Other innovative applications include road toll systems and tourism. Mobile location-based social networking features will also be an important driver for the uptake of GPS devices and applications in the consumer market, according to ABI.

The market research firm also observed that the modernization of the GPS satellite fleet, coupled with the arrival of other GNSS constellations, such as GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou/Compass, will increase the availability, reliability, and precision of satellite positioning and stimulate the market for location-based technologies.

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