NEW YORK, June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- People monitoring solutions that enable third parties to locate a person were introduced in the late 1990s. Today, most people monitoring solutions rely on GNSS and mobile communication technologies to determine the location of a person and transmit the data to a third party. Technological advancements have enabled dedicated battery powered GPS locator devices suitable for the mass market to become a reality. There are also a vast number of people locator apps that leverage the growing installed base of GPS-enabled smartphones.
Consumer-oriented people locator solutions range from family locator services that provide peace of mind for parents of children and teenagers, to solutions that assist caregivers of seniors and people suffering from various medical conditions. Family locator services that have been part of mobile operators' LBS portfolios for many years – especially in the US – are now facing competition from free apps. The willingness to pay for operator services is declining as consumers' awareness of free people locator apps has increased significantly in the past few years. Operators are therefore looking for additional revenues from related services, such as device management apps that monitor voice, data and app usage on children's handsets. Besides family locator services, there are many location sharing services that have similar functionality but focus on slightly different needs and use cases by enabling the user to control exactly when the location is shared, with whom and for how long. There were an estimated 35 million active users of family locator and location sharing apps in Europe and North America at the end of 2013.
Over the years, many companies have launched GPS-based locator devices for parents that want to locate their children and teenagers. The market has been slow to take off, initially due to low awareness, poor performance and high cost. Today, a handful companies have launched locator devices for small children that do not yet use mobile phones. Several of the new devices focus on ease of use and are designed to appeal to children. Another consumer-oriented segment with large potential is pet monitoring. There are more than twice as many pets in Europe and North America as there are children aged 0–18 years old. Most pet owners are very passionate about their animals and consider them as part of the family. There are now a handful companies that develop GPS-based locators aimed at creating peace of mind for owners of dogs and other larger pets. Many of these locator devices in addition measure the pet's activity to enable health monitoring. The product category still suffers from lack of awareness among potential customers. The number of active users in Europe and North America reached about 100,000 at the end of 2013.
Several device vendors have started to address the needs of people caring for persons of all ages suffering from various medical conditions such as autism and other cognitive limitations, epilepsy and cardiac problems. Many of these companies are also addressing the market for systems that assist seniors living at home or in care homes. The assistance systems are commonly called telecare systems or social alarms in Europe and Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) in the US. Berg Insight estimates that there are already 6.7 million users of the first generation telecare systems in Europe and North America. The addressable market for the next generation mobile telecare systems is therefore large, even though the number of mobile telecare systems in use in Europe and North America had only reached an estimated 200,000 units in Q2-2014.
People locator solutions addressing the needs of business customers are available from companies in industries such as fleet and asset tracking, as well as IT and LBS specialists. Mobile workforce management services aim to improve operational efficiency and focus on managing individual employees. Cost savings can be achieved through better routing of employees as well as more efficient time verification and data collection in the field. Mobile workforce management is frequently part of fleet management solutions for commercial vehicles. However, many companies now adopt more or less standardised workforce management apps and services for smartphones. Industry sectors leading the adoption of workforce management solutions include construction, distribution and field services. Lone worker protection services primarily focus on ensuring the security of employees. Many lone worker protection services rely on dedicated GPS location devices featuring alarm buttons and man down detection sensors. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of users of workforce management and lone worker protection services in Europe and North America will grow from 1.6 million in 2013 to 5.2 million in 2020.
This report answers the following questions:
Which market segments adopt dedicated locator devices?
What is the potential market size for mobile telecare alarms?
How has the success of smartphones affected the family locator market?
What is the current status on the pet locator market in Europe and North America?
Who are the leading providers of mobile workforce management services?
What is the potential market size for lone worker protection services?
Are smartphones suitable for lone worker protection services?
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