Ambient intelligence is a relatively new term in the technology lexicon, yet ABI Research forecasts that it will become the major evolution in technology-based consumer services and quality of life applications over the next 10 years. Essentially, ambient intelligence is the ability of a system to appreciate its environment, be aware of the user (and other people / objects) within that environment and most importantly, interpret and respond to their needs, unprompted.

Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly comments, “In technology terms ambient intelligence is the unification of hot new areas such as neural networks, big data, IoT, connected home, wearables, device user interfaces, and health / fitness, into services that can automate processes and make recommendations to improve the users quality of life. A major aspect in enabling this is the arrival of new location technologies such as BLE beacons, LED / VLC, sensor / data fusion, LTE-direct, Wi-Fi 2.0, etc.

“The applications of ambient intelligence are multitude, but on the consumer side, the big drive is the battle for next generation search and evolved personal assistant applications that can predict the needs of their users and make changes / recommendations to facilitate these needs. From an application point of view, ABI Research forecasts over 8 billion ambient intelligence related application downloads in 2020, primarily focused on personal assistant, social, health / fitness, augmented reality, and local search / discovery applications.”

This is attracting the major forces in the technology sphere, including Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Baidu which are all acquiring and hiring en-masse to build out their own ambient intelligence systems. New startups are also starting to emerge, such as MetaMind and Clarifai.

In the analysis, Location-based Ambient Intelligence, ABI Research compares the major players across 14 core areas of expertise required to become a dominant player in this space. It also covers data ownership and the emergence of brokers that enables consumers to sell their data as opposed to providing it for free. Connolly finishes, “This will create friction, which usually opens up the market to new innovative companies.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Location Based Services Market Research.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit