[Géolocalisation indoor] Soon the real take-off?
Shopping centers, museums, airports…. On September 25, Google kicked off its indoor geolocation service in France. While some French players did not wait for the arrival of the American giant to develop similar technologies, the launch of Google’s “Indoor Maps” could well play a catalytic role.
Estimated at $ 6 billion by 2017, the indoor geolocation market, which allows users to find their way inside large buildings, appears as a real backdrop for multiple business opportunities.
Google’s role in evangelism
“We are entering a volume strategy”, explains Christian Carle, CEO of the geolocation solution. Nao Campus, published by the Toulouse company Pole Star. Founded in 2002, the start-up is also based in Palo Alto in California since the finalization of a fundraising of 2.7M € in April 2011. “The objective was to be at the heart of the web ecosystem in order to to “scale” our solution, “says Christian Carle.
Today, Pole Star claims 4 million indoor square meters covered in the world. The Toulouse-based company has notably deployed its technological brick Nao Campus in the shopping center of 4 Time at Defense, at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie or in airports Roissy CDG and Toulouse Blagnac.
If, at first glance, the arrival of Google on the French market seems to constitute serious competition for Pole Star and its counterpart Insiteo, the Mountain View firm could, in fact, play a real role of evangelization with local actors. Christian Carle also believes that 2013 will be a decisive year: “We should see the market move from the stage of adolescence to a certain maturity”.
In addition to the major role of Google, due to its strike force and its notoriety, the technological brick Nao Campus is different on certain points. Unlike Google, Pole Star does not deploy a global approach but an offer aimed at the site owner, in this case ADP (Aéroports de Paris) or even Unibail. In addition, the Toulouse-based company claims greater data precision than that offered by the Google application. Another element of differentiation: the Nao Campus solution is available both on Android terminals and on iPhones, thanks to the development of a very specific technology. Finally, Pole Star allows customers to retrieve the large amount of data resulting from the geolocation of their customers. Very valuable information which is however, as usual, kept by the American giant.
When indoor geolocation becomes the click of a button for e-commerce
The growing democratization of smartphones and the equipment of public places with WiFi are also key elements in the take-off of this new market. “Thanks to indoor geolocation, the smartphone becomes a real-time media”, specifies Anne Monié, Marketing Director at Pole Star.
Guidance, activities, treasure hunts, augmented reality services, networking…. Indoor geolocation should therefore constitute the geo-marketing of tomorrow directly integrated into mobile applications. In fact, nested technologies like that of Nao Campus allow professionals to send the message at the right time to the right person and to the right place… “Indoor geolocation becomes the click of a button for e-commerce”, summarizes Anne Monié .
Anne Monié, Marketing Director at Pole Star, details the multiple opportunities based on indoor geolocation: