THE BUSINESS CORNER
Time to Get Personal
Last month we talked about the huge growth potential in the container tracking market, which has a forecasted compound annual growth rate of 27% between now and 2014. This month we’re going to talk about another market that is ready to see exponential growth: Personal tracking. A study cited in National Defense Magazine predicts that one million personal tracking devices will be in use by 2014, and an ABI report forecasts that the personal tracking device and application markets will both break $1 billion dollars by 2017 – a combined annual growth rate over the next five years of a stunning 40%. How can you get your piece of that very large pie?
Personal tracking, as you might infer from the name, really is nothing more than the tracking of individual people. The people being tracked could be almost anyone, which is one of the core reasons that this market has such huge potential. Consider the following use-cases: A high-value VIP who requires security monitoring. Lone workers in dangerous situations. Memory-impaired elderly who wander off. Children at risk of abduction or becoming lost. Teens who require supervision. In fact, the risk of someone going missing is very real: In 2010, the U.S. FBI had 692,944 new missing person cases entered into its National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. That’s a lot of people to go missing in a year – and if a person is in one of the above use-cases, they are much more likely to end up as one of the cases filed with the NCIC. Leaving aside the emotional issues, even if a missing person is eventually located, the time and expense involved are extremely high – both on a personal and professional level.
Some form of personal tracking would be useful in all of the above use-cases to help prevent people from turning into statistics and companies from losing money. And yet, historically the market has been slow to adopt personal tracking. Figuring out why potential clients have not adopted personal tracking will position us to better approach them with modern solutions, and to address any objections that they might have. You might easily encounter device-based objections that date from a time when machine-to-machine communication over cellular and GPS networks was not very advanced. However, M2M communication is now practical over cellular networks, effectively negating this objection.
Another, related objection is to the size, functionality and cost of the devices themselves, but this objection is also easily answered: Thanks to the extensive number of devices that are integrated into the Position Logic platform, as well as the ability to integrate any desired device not currently on the platform, companies can now choose from a wide variety of devices with a wide range of functionality, from a tiny unit that only reports position to larger units complete with panic buttons and two-way communication – or even choose a software solution that installs onto the phone or other mobile device of the user to be tracked. The device costs have also fallen in recent years, making that aspect of personal tracking well within the budget of almost any company – particularly once they realize the costs of personal tracking are much lower than the potential costs of a person going missing.
The final case, of course, is where companies that could benefit from personal tracking – for example, a chain of assisted living facilities for the elderly – just simply aren’t aware of the possibilities that are open to them in personal tracking. This is the easiest case to handle, because the amount of devices available, the functionality of those devices, and the cost benefits of using these devices are all easily demonstrated.
Okay. So, let’s step back and review what we’ve covered today. The market for personal tracking is going to see explosive growth over the next five years, both in devices and applications. The market is currently under-served because potential customers generally either have misconceptions about tracking capabilities and/or costs, or else are unaware of the benefits that personal tracking can bring them. And now that you’re aware of just how big of a market this is, consider where you want your own business to be and how you want it to grow. If personal tracking is a fit for the way in which you leverage the Position Logic platform, or a way of using the platform that interests you – go for it! We’re never more than a phone call or an email away, and we’d love to see you grow along with this market.