Apple Acquires WiFiSLAM to Strengthen Mapping Section with Indoor Mapping Tech

March 26, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It seems that GPS-friendly apps on your iPhone aren’t enough, for Apple has purchased WiFiSLAM, a company that specializes in ways to locate a smartphone user using WiFi signals only. The acquisition took place for approximately $20 million.

This indoor mapping technology doesn’t make use of GPS, so we can see why Apple is interested in it. While the company has confirmed about their expansion, they haven’t divulged any details on what they propose to do with WiFiSLAM technology.

Maybe future iOS devices might include this novel indoor mapping technology, although Apple might be looking for other uses too. But the main factor here is that Apple is making progress through an area which Google has made its forte.

apple-maps-performance

The search giant uses both WiFi hotspot triangulation and normal cell tower-based location estimations to let their users know their locations. The company, reportedly, has more than 10,000 different floor plans available through 13 countries.

WiFiSLAM had turned off their official website since the acquisition, but the company’s listing on AngelList details their accuracy of 2.5 meters, delivered using only the WiFi signals that are present in the building.

The two-year-old startup used to offer their technology to application developers for indoor mapping, as well as to different retail and social networking apps.

Apple had challenged Google Maps with their Apple Maps that brought a lot of criticism, culminating in an apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple Maps have since become a bit better, but they still remain far behind what Google offers their users.

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