Wi-fi wins in shops

wi-fi symbolLocation applications in shops will be worth $2.5 billion in 2020, and based on wi-fi, largely because of the huge installed base of smartphones.

ABI Research said that BLE beacons have become the flavour of the day but wi-fi has an unparalleled reach.

Shops will use wi-fi because of its superior penetration and will be used by major chains as an aid to analytics, ABI said.

Patrick Connolly, a principal analyst at the firm, said that 802.11mc and wi-fi aware are much more accurate than existing wi-fi standards.

He said: “Most access point vendors have developed their own high accuracy algorithms to compete with other indoor technologies.

“Wi-fi Aware has long term potential in a lot of markets, but there is very little for retail technology companies to hang their hats on today.”

He said leading edge startups are hybridising wi-fi with BLE camera analytics and that gives a big potential for proximity advertising and “loyalty rewards”.