Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Apple/Mac
Real-time info services with Neustar
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Apple Buys Indoor Map Technology Company WifiSLAM
Apple Buys Indoor Map Technology Company WifiSLAM

By Barry Levine
March 25, 2013 11:07AM

    Bookmark and Share
Indoor mapping is a challenge. First, there's the layout and related data. Then there's the fact that GPS technology does not work well inside a building. For the first problem, Google frequently uses floor plans. For the second, WifiSLAM's approach is to use Wi-Fi signals already inside the building. Apple has acquired WifiSLAM for a reported $20 million.
 



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:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Apple/Mac
1.   MacBook Pros Get Update, Price Cut
2.   U.S. Firms Fish for Growth Overseas
3.   Will Next OS X Bring New Apple Grief?
4.   Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
5.   Apple Faces Suit Over Work Breaks


advertisement
Apple Digital Book Settlement Set
But company still appealing decision.
Average Rating:
U.S. Firms Fish for Growth Overseas
Tech trendsetters are going abroad.
Average Rating:
Earnings, Excitement Grow for Apple
Momentum mounts as rumors swirl.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
 
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | 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.