Press Releases

2016 Global Survey Shows Indoor Positioning Explosive Growth and Demand for Geomagnetic as Deployments Scale

99% Want Indoor Positioning Systems, 95% Will Value It More Without Hardware

SAN FRANCISCO September 21, 2016 — IndoorAtlas, a global Platform-as-a-Service leader in geomagnetic indoor positioning, today published the results of a global independent survey that demonstrates widespread and growing demand for scalable, accurate and low-cost indoor positioning systems (IPS). The survey polled business and marketing decision makers, and other executives in charge of location-based apps in North America, UK and APAC markets.

“The survey results underscore the demand and trends that we see among our customers worldwide,” said Janne Haverinen, CEO of IndoorAtlas. “Scalability, accuracy and cost are dominant themes, particularly for IPS deployments across large or multiple venues. Companies will gain the most value and efficiencies by selecting technologies that can enable them to scale quickly and easily,” added Haverinen.

IndoorAtlas commissioned Vanson Bourne, an independent market research firm, to undertake the research. A total of 301 business and marketing decision makers who are responsible for the development and strategy of location-based apps were interviewed across the United States, United Kingdom, Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) and Australia.  Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates had the opportunity to participate. All respondents were from mid to large-size organizations, with at least 250+ employees within healthcare, travel, transport, marketing and retail sectors. The research project was completed in July 2016.

The survey looked at the three foundational IPS technologies – Bluetooth beacon, WiFi and geomagnetic – as well as deployment strategies by vertical and geography. Bluetooth beacon and WiFi rely on radio signals from hardware devices to track users’ mobile phones. Geomagnetic relies on the unique signal of the Earth’s magnetic field passing through the building and received by a smartphone’s compass.

IPS deployments are widespread and growing with 99% of respondents saying they have implemented or will implement IPS within two years. Going forward, geomagnetic deployments may start to outpace Bluetooth beacon and WiFi deployments, as more respondents (22%) report geomagnetic pilots versus 20% for Bluetooth beacon and 20% for WiFi.

The survey highlights a major scale challenge in the industry as the demand for location-based apps grows. Global organizations have concerns about purchasing, installing and maintaining Bluetooth beacons (90%) and WiFi (84%) for IPS. Respondents require an average of 324 devices per venue to deliver optimal accuracy, and for retail venues, the average increases to 482 devices. Respondents reported needing to deploy IPS in an average of 53 venues, placing the total number of devices required across all venues at 17,190. For retail, the number increases to nearly 40,000 devices.

Organizations seek scalable options and require an IPS that can enable them to easily deploy location-based apps across multiple venues and geographic locations. Ninety five percent of business and marketing decision makers see value in an IPS that requires little to no hardware and 98% think that geomagnetic indoor positioning can solve their scalability challenges.

Proximity marketing and way-finding are the two leading location-based app features requiring IPS. Proximity marketing identifies a user’s location and pushes special offers tied to location and time. Way-finding helps customers navigate complex indoor environments. Nearly all respondents (98%) cite that sub-two meter accuracy is paramount for proximity marketing, way-finding and search apps.

Other highlights from the 2016 report indicate:

  • Budget dedicated to IPS is important with 2.5% of budget allocated
  • The top four drivers for IPS are to attract customers using proximity marketing (55%), increasing sales (55%), increasing the usability of venues (48%) and driving customer experience (47%)
  • The top two IPS use cases for location-based app features are proximity marketing (82%) and way-finding (42%)
  • The most popular venues for IPS deployments are airports (38%) and hotel resorts (28%) followed by hospitals/health centers, office/business venues and shopping malls (all at 24%)
  • The average time for organizations to deploy location-based apps is four months
  • Organizations are most likely to use a combination of in-house and outsourced help to build their app, although the majority will reply on developers from their in-house IT team (58%)
  • One hundred percent of organizations using IndoorAtlas today find its geomagnetic indoor positioning platform easy to work with when developing their app

IndoorAtlas offers geomagnetic software development kits (SDK) and cloud services through a freemium pricing model where customers pay as their app grows – paying only once they reach 100+ monthly active users. Developers can sign-up and start using the service for free at

To download a copy of the full 2016 Indoor Positioning Research Report, please visit