The global market for location-based applications is poised for rapid growth, as the mass adoption of global positioning system-enabled smartphones is encouraging developers to introduce numerous advanced applications, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The firm’s report, “Moving in Smart Spaces,” finds that indoor connectivity, augmented reality, big data and wearable devices are the key technology trends likely to fuel the uptake of location-based applications. Location-based technology and data can then be combined to facilitate the development of smart spaces in every city and community.

"Location-based application developers have so far focused on the development of outdoor applications due to the adoption of GPS positioning in smartphones," Shuba Ramkumar, Frost & Sullivan information and communication technologies research analyst, said in a statement. "However, as individuals spend more time indoors, there is a need to roll out indoor location-based applications that capitalize on various functionalities such as mapping, navigation and geo-fencing."

Augmented reality technology could also be used to make location-based applications more interactive, the company says. In addition, the growing ecosystem of wearable devices such as Google Glass and Samsung Galaxy Gear infuses technology into the daily lives of individuals, widening the scope of context-aware applications.

There are several challenges restricting the growth of the location-based applications market, Frost & Sullivan notes. One key challenge is the lack of standardization in indoor positioning technologies such as Wi-Fi, sensors and Bluetooth, which is complicating the development of indoor applications.

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