News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Apple/Mac / Apple Buys Indoor Mapping Company
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
Apple Buys Indoor Map Technology Company WifiSLAM
Apple Buys Indoor Map Technology Company WifiSLAM
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MARCH
25
2013



The new frontier in digital mapping is indoors. This week, Apple is joining the trend by buying a company that specializes in indoor mapping.

The Silicon Valley start-up, WifiSLAM, provides technology for Android apps that can map the interior of buildings with a resolution down to 8 feet. According to news reports, the price of the acquisition was about $20 million. WifiSLAM had been developing an iOS version, which was discontinued after Apple disabled Wi-Fi scanning in version 5 of iOS.

Google has begun to offer maps of indoor locations such as shopping malls and airports to Android users of its Map app, but not to iOS users. WifiSLAM's co-founders include former Google software engineering team intern Joseph Huang.

Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm

Indoor mapping presents its own set of unique challenges. First, there's the actual layout and related data. Then there's the fact that traditional GPS technology does not work well inside a building.

For the first problem, Google frequently uses data derived from floor plans. For the second, WifiSLAM's approach is to use Wi-Fi signals already inside the building, in tandem with the compass and accelerometer in the mobile device. It has licensed the technology to other indoor mapping developers and to makers of apps designed for retail stores.

In addition to helping users quickly find their airport gate, or helping one navigate a giant mall, interior mapping apps could also be used to steer customers to on-the-spot sales at a mall store they are passing at the time.

Other major companies are also moving indoors. Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Qualcomm, for instance, have said they will work jointly to develop indoor location services that employ both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

For the Technology

Avi Greengart, a Current Analysis analyst who says he frequently uses indoor mapping apps whenever he's inside a big building in L.A., noted that Apple sometimes makes an acquisition for the technology, sometimes to integrate a service, or sometimes for the people. In this case, he said, it appears to be primarily for the technology of interior geolocation.

He noted that, given the derision that accompanied the release of Apple Maps with iOS 6, Apple has to make sure that interior mapping fulfills the company's "basic brand promise -- our stuff just works."

In iOS 6, Apple Maps was intended to replace the Maps app by one of Apple's competitors, Google. Apple's reason at the time was that Google's app didn't provide free, step-by-step, voice-guided directions. Google Maps had been part of the iPhone since that smartphone was launched, but was banned with the launch of Apple Maps. Following the storm of criticism about Apple's app, due to massive numbers of factual, visual and direction errors, Google Maps has been allowed back on the platform and has since been heavily downloaded.

Apple has issued a rare apology by its CEO, Tim Cook, who promised that it is working to rectify the app's shortcomings, and it has fired two of the executives that had oversight of Maps.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.
MORE IN APPLE/MAC
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Russian Gang with Stolen IDs Hacks Hosting Company
In August, a Russian cyber gang obtained what researchers called “the largest cache of stolen data." Now, those hackers may be putting their ill-gotten gains to criminal use.
 
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Known for its hot fries and soft-serve ice cream, Dairy Queen just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's New FX Series CPU Breaks Processing Speed Record
The new FX-8370 processor from Advanced Micro Devices has set a record for silicon processor speed, the company announced. Overclocked, the eight-core chip was measured at 8722.78 MHz.
 
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Rumor Mill Puts Mobile Wallet in iPhone 6
Apple is moving toward the mobile wallet world with its next iPhone. The tech giant has partnered with retailers, banks and major payment networks to make it happen, according to Bloomberg.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 
Visual Search To Shop: Gimmick or Game Changing?
Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.