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TCS Makes Strong Play in Indoor Location Market with Loctronix Acquisition

September 11, 2015  - By
Jay Whitehurst, TCS

Jay Whitehurst, TCS

With market share second only to Ericsson, TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) is investing in location-based services (LBS), particularly those used for indoor location.

One key investment was the July acquisition of Loctronix, a small Seattle-based provider of positioning systems for GNSS-challenged environments.

TCS senior vice president and commercial software group president Jay Whitehurst spoke exclusively to GPS World at CTIA Super Mobility 2015 in Las Vegas this week about the acquisition.

“We’ve been building out the (indoor location) technology, and we bought the assets of Loctronix and hired their CEO (Michael B. Mathews),” Whitehurst said. “They had a developed library and were at proof-of-concept almost ready to go to market and needed a vehicle to get it out there. We have 50 percent market share in E911, and in LBS we have 26 percent market share, relative to Ericsson’s 28 percent.”

Loctronix’s Mobile Explorer Platform is designed for mobile devices, and delivers high-accuracy positioning booth indoors and out.

The acquisition comes as TCS completes E911 interoperability testing with four public-safety equipment vendors, ahead of impending government regulation of E911 and with increasing public awareness about the need for emergency services that work with modern technology.

Beyond public safety and security, Whitehurst says there are “unlimited applications” for the company’s indoor location tools in the commercial sector.

From Mathews’ perspective, he made “the right choice” in selling his company. Mathews is now vice president of location technology at TCS.

“I found it was easy to be an evangelist, but scaling that into a commercial solution you could sell and make money on are two very different things. It’s easy to have vision, but you’ve got to have infrastructure and the scale of a company behind you to get it to happen,” he said, standing next to Whitehurst in the TCS booth. “We were able to fit into their infrastructure, and they’ve got a lot of tools we couldn’t wait to get our hands on.”

TCS plans to announce new geolocation tools based on the Loctronix assets in the fourth quarter. Without going into detail, Mathews described what’s coming as a “holistic solution” — then joked with Whitehurst that in his new role as a “tech guy” instead of CEO, “It’s not my problem.”

“The story we’re going to tell the next few months is pretty awesome,” Mathews said. “When we say location everywhere we mean location everywhere.”

Whitehurst presents VirtuMedix, a telemedicine platform using TCS’s LBS solutions


“In the healthcare market vertical, clinicians are licensed to practice in a state. So knowing when somebody is accessing a healthcare provider by a mobile device, we have to determine if they are in the state the clinician is licensed to practice. It’s an important usage of (location-based services).”

Find out more about VirtuMedix at

About the Author: Bethany Chambers

Bethany Chambers has been a digital editor for GPS World since 2012. She also serves as digital operations manager for GPS World parent company North Coast Media. Chambers is a multimedia journalist with expertise in the business and healthcare fields who has won awards from the National Press Club and the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership. She has a masters in interactive publishing from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a bachelors in marketing from Duquesne University.

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