WiFiSLAM’s indoor mobile navigation technology could help Apple get over its mobile mapping problems

Apple snaps up mapping app startup WiFiSLAM

Apple Inc. has bought a Calif.-based mapping startup which could give the company a head start over rivals in the indoor navigation space.

Apple, today, confirmed its acquisition of WiFiSLAM, a company that develops location-identifying technology particularly for use inside buildings.
 

Apple did not provide details about the purchase, but a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said Apple paid around $20 million for WiFISLAM.

Many users have complained about inaccurate directions provided by Apple’s navigation system. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had earlier promised users the company will improve the service.

Apple’s navigation system competes with that of Google Inc.’s Google Map which is widely used in the company’s Android mobile platform, a rival of Apple’s iOS for mobile devices.

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While many organizations have been offering GPS-based (global positioning system) mobile navigation systems, no firm has yet provided an industry-leading tool for navigating inside buildings.

WiFiSLAM’s technology enables smartphones to find locations inside buildings to an accuracy of 2.5 metres using only ambient Wi-Fi signals.
The service can be used for step-by-step indoor navigation; proximity based social networking and targeted advertising in shopping centres and malls.

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