The growing number of Internet users and increasing demand for communication technology have collectively resulted in an increased demand for visible light communication (VLC) solutions. The fact that the maximum wireless traffic emerges indoors that are also well illuminated has significantly augmented the application of visible light communication in retail indoor positioning. The demand from retailers to improve the shopping experience of retail consumers by notifying them about product offers while shopping requires a technology such as VLC to deliver accurate and quick results. Thus, in the coming years, VLC is expected to compete with technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to help retailers increase footfalls by challenging the emergence of e-commerce.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global Visible Light Communication Market is anticipated to represent an opportunity worth US$113.27 bn by 2022 as it rises from US$267.6 mn in 2014. During the forecast period of 2015 and 2022, the global visible light communication market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 109.2%. This market is also expected to receive a substantial boost from the ongoing research and development and the large amounts of funding received for the same. The biggest advantage of VLC technologies is that they enable extensive energy savings as they operate through indoor lights, thus negating the need for extra energy for information transmission.
Product Innovation and Strategic Acquisitions Make North America the Frontrunner
The overall visible light communication market is still in its nascent stage. However, it has achieved remarkable progress in the region of North America. The presence of leading players that are aggressively developing and promoting upgraded services in the region have been helping n the overall market.
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The ongoing product innovation, acquisitions, and partnerships have also gone a long way in establishing this market across North America. The trend of lighting companies acquiring or teaming up with VLC start-ups is also anticipated boost the overall adoption of VLC. Analysts predict that the North America visible light communication market will be worth US$47.88 bn by 2022 as it expands at very high CAGR of 108.65% from 2015 to 2022.
On the other hand, Asia Pacific has also been identified as an emerging VLC market due to a heavy focus on research and development activities. The efforts to commercialize and develop VLC solutions by various players is expected to drive the growth of this market in the region.
Retail Indoor Positioning to become the Leading End-Use Segment
Visible light communication technologies are used for underwater communication, retail indoor positioning, hospitality, connected devices, in-flight communication, and light-based Internet amongst others. Out of these, the retail indoor positioning segment is expected to thrive in the forthcoming years. The ability of VLC solutions to deliver accurate positioning is being used by retailers to establish valuable communication with customers. For instance, sending coupons, notifying customers of discounts, and helping customers reach the exact position of the product by communicating with them on the smartphones has become exceptionally easy through VLC modules. The advantage of locating the end goal indoors, which GPS fails, has propelled the retail indoor positioning segment in the recent years.
The research indicates that the retail indoor positioning segment in expected to represent an opportunity worth US$33.54 bn by 2022 as it expands at a CAGR of 93.82% between 2015 and 2022. The adoption of LEDs to achieve energy savings over a longer period of time in several retail stores is also expected to boost the usage of VLC technologies in this segment.
Some of the leading players operating in the global visible light communication market are Lightbee Corp., pureLiFi, Ltd., Nakagawa Laboratories, Inc. Axrtek, Inc., Koninklijke Philips N.V., LVX System, and Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. Companies are focusing on investing in developing energy-efficient products and aiming at product innovation to stand out in the highly competitive market.