When we wrote the original story about CSR-Samsung deal, a lot of you who came to the forum had questions -- mainly focused around "so what does this leave CSR with?"
I had the same question. So, I went back to CSR and asked the CEO some questions. And above is what I found out.
The agreement looks like a lot more complicated than I had originally assumed.
Couple of comments.
1. Even if the the indoor GPS is not gonna be integrated with WLAN/BT/FM combo, Wont they get integrated to the external GPS chip? Since CSR sold out that one, wouldn't it hamper their chances?
2. The value proposition that indoor GPS brings to the average user may be much less than that of the external GPS. When you are in a mall or airport, you always have a information counter or people/mall directory around you. You are never lost basically. So would the user be willing to pay another 10-20 $ for this functionality?
"To assist indoor GPS, CSR designed a back-end network server, featuring self-learning databases. The server collects signals from satellites, cell towers, Wi-Fi nets, sensors and other radios."
As expected, the indoor GPS is not a radio chip in itself, rather it combines signals from various other sources like wifi/gps/cell/nfc/acclerometer using CSR magic algorithm to make a prediction of the location. I feel this could be also done in an MCU integrated into the combo chip or the main application processor, rather than implementing in a separate chip and be more cost effective. And probably google will do a better job at " back-end network server, self-learning databases" etc.
There can be cool applications for indoor GPS like location based deals distribution, whereby if u go near a shop they send in a deal tailored to u. But similar things exist already using only GPS and not a big hit till now.
Inshort I feel CSR has taken a big risk by fully subscribing to its unproven hypothesis of indoor GPS being a big hit. Or they have a plan B?
I wouldn't go that far. I still think indoor GPS presents an interesting opportunity for CSR, giving them for an opportunity to sell its own standalone GPS chip (with indoor GPS capability) into mobile handset market.
The standalone GPS chip market is alive and well, when you look at the IHS iSuppli's market forecast.
Re- indoor location not being useful... who uses information desks? People over 50. If you have an app or map of your store on your phone, and can do a direct search for "product X" and even get directions, why would you go to a map or information desk?
I know whenever I go anywhere new with friends, they all have their phone maps out, even when there are easier ways available.