The internecine war between Google and Apple took a further twist when it emerged that the Cupertino company now holds the pole position on indoor location technology likely to be widely used in shops.
ABI Research said that “Apple has taken the bull by the horns” in the retail market with several firms vying to win the war. Technologies using LED from ByteLight, Qualcomm and Philips and magnetic field technology from companies like IndoorAtlas are going to change the way shops look.
Apple leads the way with its iBeacon, otherwise known as Bluetooth Smart or BLE. Other vendors can license this name for their own products.
Electronic shelf labels using protocols like NFC and BLE are set to increase and app companies are filling the gaps.
Patrick Connolly, a senior analyst at ABI said the world is likely to see the first deployments of light systems next year.
Connolly said: “The widespread availability of BLE beacons makes it very easy for retails to deploy a light system to test the water and measure shopper acceptance.”
He added that Zebra/Motorola, Ruckus and Aruba will combine wi-fi with BLE and other location technologies.