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...
GET RECOGNIZED
Let an ISACA® certification elevate your career.
Register today and save
You are here: Home / Apple/Mac / Apple Buys Indoor Mapping Company
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
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
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN APPLE/MAC
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 

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.