ABI Research, Gopher Protocol (OTCQB: GOPH) and Iridium (NASDAQ: IRDM) Discuss the Future and Evolution of GPS and Personal Tracking Devices
"The market is undergoing a significant transition period" says ABI Research
New Tracking Technologies can Work with or without GPS
PERRIS, California and Point Roberts, WA - May 26, 2016 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a global news source covering tech stocks interviews Patrick Connolly of ABI Research, Danny Rittman, CTO of Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTCQB:GOPH) and Scott Scheimreif, Vice President of Government programs at Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) to discuss the future of GPS and tracking technology.
GPS technology was introduced to the U.S. market in the early 70's and since then there have been advances in technology that are leading the evolution of GPS and its tracking capabilities.
According to Patrick Connolly of ABI Research, "We have just released the latest edition of our personal tracking device report and the latest numbers put the GPS device market in traditional verticals at approximately $2 Billion by 2021. The market is undergoing a significant transition period as traditional markets struggle to find mass-market adoption, yet new technologies and markets will create a lot of upside potential for those that move quickly."
He went on to say, "Despite the huge available market, the traditional verticals of people and pet tracking have failed to find the correct distribution and pricing necessary for widespread adoption. The lone worker vertical continues to grow with a lot of acquisition activity recently, but we have yet to see the legislation necessary to take this market into high volumes. It remains low volume-high margin, with the new threat of companies looking to lower costs to drive market share. Despite this, there is still a lot of opportunity in this space."
Guardian Patch, Gopher Protocol Inc.'s (OTCQB:GOPH) first exclusively licensed product to bring to the consumer markets, is a unique location technology that works with or without GPS. Guardian Patch's proprietary technology will track objects anywhere on Earth. Guardian Patch (http://www.guardianpatch.com/) works via its own private, secured communication channel/protocol.
The Company just released its product info and FAQ (http://www.guardianpatch.com/f-a-q/) to consumers stating it will be available in 2017 with an estimated retail price of $39.99.
When asked about their tracking technology and how it compared to others, the Company's CTO Danny Rittman said "We are working via a different concept; a Radio based, secured, private channel. It seems as the world is going towards IPS (Internal Position System) which is substantially different from GPS and way more secure. The Guardian Patch may be considered a pioneer in this IPS technology."
According to some experts, IPS technology is on its way and it will be revolutionary. As referenced in an article in *ExtremeTech, the headline says it all - ‘Think GPS is cool? IPS will blow your mind'.
Another Company's technology can also work when GPS is not available. Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) just announced the launch of its breakthrough alternative Global Positioning System (GPS). The Company said the Satellite Time and Location (STL) is ready for use. Iridium is working with Satelles, a division of iKare Corporation as its primary technology partner. The Company's press release explains that STL can protect, toughen and augment traditional GPS technology by providing a position or timing source when GPS signals are degraded or unavailable.
Scott Scheimreif, Vice President of Government programs at Iridium told Investorideas.com, "Satelles uses the Iridium® LEO satellite constellation to transmit specially structured signals to provide position, navigation and timing data that can penetrate many difficult environments including deep indoors. Compared to GNSS signals like GPS, Iridium signals have much higher raw signal power (300 –2400x) as seen by a receiver on Earth, making them attractive for use in location applications where GNSS signals are obstructed, for example deep indoors."
He went on to explain, "Unlike GNSS satellites, Iridium uses spot beams to focus its transmissions on a relatively small geographic area. Each satellite supports 48 spot beams. The complex overlapping spot beams of Iridium combined with the randomized STL broadcasts offer a unique mechanism to provide location based authentication that is extremely difficult to spoof. Satelles offers a worldwide Position Navigation and Time solution that provides a unique capability to perform in GPS/GNSS denied environments. Additionally the STL signal structure and system design (combined with the unique capabilities of Iridium) is very difficult to spoof and can be used to not only calculate user location but prove that location in applications where position and time assurance is critical."
Patrick Connolly of ABI Research also notes that, "As well as the markets discussed earlier, the $2 billion number does not include areas like GPS-based goods asset tracking, which ABI Research has forecast in an upcoming report to be billions of dollars by 2021, while BLE Beacon device shipments are expected to break $1 Billion over the same period. The arrival of LPWAN and low cost indoor location is also opening up the opportunity for true end-to-end asset tracking across a much broader range of markets. So in many ways, the opportunities now are even broader but these new technologies will also take market share from the traditional GPS device market, and it is up to the OEMs in this space to ensure they are adapting to these changes."
"Another key area is how far up the value chain these companies can move. For example location is just one element of the overall home care/PERS market. If companies in this space can bring location innovation combined with the primary needs of the market, there is no reason they can't achieve far greater success."
When asked about wearables impacting the sector, Patrick said, "Wearables today are not as big a threat as you would imagine, because many of the applications we have discussed require very specific design and service features to meet emergency scenarios. Certainly over time, wearables will eat into the available market, as this market evolves. For example, health-related applications are expected to represent over a quarter of wearable shipments in 2020 and this is an area, along with corporate, where wearables can play a major part. In fact, I think there will be some crossover in these cases, with a big opportunity for companies to leverage consumer wearables as a part of their indoor location offering.
Another major differentiator in emergency applications today for a lot of companies in this space is the availability of their own Automatic Respond Centre (ARC). Putting GPS into a device is not enough in many cases, and this is something we have not seen the consumer wearable market support yet."
Gopher Protocol Inc.'s (OTCQB: GOPH) Guardian Patch does act an Emergency beacon the company says. "It is simple. Peel the Guardian Patch off and it acts as an Emergency Beacon, sending out a signal and notifying anyone who registered your Guardian Patch."
The Company also recently announced that Dr. Rittman has applied for a patent for the Guardian-LIFE medical patch technology.
Bottom line, GPS technology has come a long way from its inception and just like other technology sectors, it is undergoing massive innovation and disruption that may provide untold benefits and security to end users.
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