By Telecom Lead Team: GPS personal tracking devices and
applications are likely to grow with a CAGR of 40 percent, with both markets
breaking $1 billion in 2017. Qualcomm, Apple via PocketFinder, Garmin and Cobra
are set to gain from significant growth.
The hardware market remained below 100,000 units in 2011.
However, it is forecast to reach 2.5 million units in 2017, with significant
growth in elderly, health, and lone worker markets. Dedicated devices can offer
significant benefits, with insurance and liability increasingly encouraging the
use of approved equipment.
We are also seeing the first signs of leading CE
companies entering the market, such as Qualcomm, Apple (via PocketFinder),
Garmin, Cobra, etc. and there will also be significant partnerships and
acquisitions in this space as new entrants looks to add tracking to their
portfolio,” said Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI Research.
Other markets include family, personal items (e.g.
luggage), and pet and offender tracking.
According to ABI Research, there is an addressable market
of over 120 million people across these markets alone, with over two million US
elderly using non-GPS Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). However,
awareness, battery life, economic conditions, and high subscription fees remain
significant barriers. There is also a fear that smartphone applications will
cannibalize the market.
The application market is already booming, with Life360
reaching 10 million downloads for its family locator application. Long term,
these solutions will become part of much bigger security and health markets,
growing to over 200 million downloads in 2017, as well as the majority of total
tracking market revenue.
Carrier platforms represent a major revenue generator
opportunity for family locator applications, matching their secure image and
offering differentiation to family subscription plans. Companies such as
Location Labs and TCS are already seeing success in this space.