Real Time Location System (RTLS) is a technology that is used to automatically identify and locate objects, assets or individuals in real time.

The goal of RTLS is to continuously track location of the targets. RTLS works with the help of a tag which is attached to the target from which wireless signals are sent and received by the readers. The readers are usually fixed at predetermined positions and they transmit the location data to the software which then interprets the exact location visually to the end user.

The report from IndustryARC on RTLS systems estimated the current market size to be around $2.3 billion in 2014. This market is estimated to grow to $7 billion through 2020. The increased demand for RTLS in manufacturing and healthcare is forecast to drive the market. The increased customer demand for these services has led to the entry of leading electronics and semiconductor companies including ABB (Sweden), Honeywell (U.S.) and Siemens (Germany) in the market. This recent report created by IndustryARC examines this market and as well as the various RTLS technologies utilized by consumers.

North America is currently the biggest market in 2014 followed by Europe. However the APAC region is poised to grow at the highest CAGR through 2020. The significant growth in APAC region is due to more emerging economies are investing significant capital into increasing the adoption of logistics and manufacturing industries across the supply chains.

The global real time location systems market has been segmented based on type of technology which are Active RFID and Passive RFID. In 2014, Active RFID segment accounted for the majority share among the technology types. The Active RFID segment is further segmented into Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, UWB, Infrared, Ultrasound, Zigbee and Bluetooth. The improving technology and accuracy provided by Ultra Wide Band in RTLS is the major driver for this segment. The Bluetooth RTLS market is set to exhibit highest growth due to its relatively lower cost and existing infrastructure footprint, thereby driving demand in manufacturing and healthcare industries. The falling price of RTLS systems is set to drive adoption in APAC markets particularly.

Real time location systems market has also been analyzed based on end use industry into healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and retail, defense and security. Logistics and Retail is the largest market with $750 million in revenue in 2014 followed by healthcare segment. The manufacturing segment is also poised to exhibit high growth and become the leading market by 2019, due to the increased end user applications as well as declining prices resulting in growing demand.

The RTLS market has been segmented based on application into asset tracking, work in progress tracking, fleet tracking, shipping container tracking, personnel tracking and patient activity tracking. Asset tracking is the biggest market for EPAS systems, accounting for 34 percent of the market. Personnel tracking accounts for 12 percent of the market but is estimated to be the fastest growing market. This is because personnel tracking application is currently being used to improve safety and security of employees who work in hazardous and risk prone environments like mines, petrochemical industries and in construction industries.

The top five companies in terms of revenue operating in the steering systems market are Ekahau Inc. (U.S), Ubisense Group Plc (U.S), CenTrak Inc. (U.S), Zebra Technologies (U.S) and Stanley, Black and Decker Inc. (U.S). They account for around 40 percent of the total market. The RTLS companies have looked to partnerships, product launches and agreements to enhance their market position. Companies are focusing on agreements and partnerships to utilize a wide distribution network to improve sales of products. For instance, Intelleflex announced a partnership with InCom Corporation, a RFID based RTLS solution provider to launch an automated asset tracking RTLS solutions for agrochemical applications.

The declining prices and growing awareness of RTLS are set to propel the growth of the RTLS market. The growth of the global real time location systems market can also be attributed to the improved accuracy as well as growing applications for the RTLS systems. The increased customer demand for tracking services is set to drive the RTLS market.