iBeacons and more generally Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are the new hype for micro-location and proximity marketing and in a new report ABI Research forecasts the market to reach 60 million units sold by 2019.
Although beacon’s use cases in the retail industry are largely talked about, ABI Research believes that the opportunity goes well beyond.
“It may surprise many to see that retail is the smallest market covered in the report. In building terms, many stores are relatively small in comparison to a corporate office or hospital, while the items being tracked i.e. consumers, are already BLE-enabled through their smartphones, further limiting the number of beacons required,” said ABI Research Senior analyst Patrick Connolly.
ABI Research see connected home and personal asset tracking as having “huge potential“ for BLE beacons.
Beacon opportunity not in Hardware
“beacons have already been dropping significantly in price and while 60 million is an impressive number, this translates into less than $500 million in hardware revenue,“ ABI Research pointed out.
A large part of revenue will be made on software and services, whether in expanding the embedded functionalities of these beacons or on the cloud to monitor and manage networks of beacons.