According to recent reports, the Cupertino Firm recently acquired a WiFi location startup company called WiFiSLAM. This is a small company that has been developing ways to use WiFi hotspots to help devices navigate through large indoor spaces (i.e. airports, stores, conference centers, and others).
This is part of Apple’s efforts in boosting its mapping and location capabilities. After parting last year with Google, this has been one of the company’s goals.
Last weekend The Wall Street Journal reported on this, it said that Apple paid $20 Million for WiFiSLAM. The company indeed confirmed this purchase last Monday. However, it did not say why they wanted WiFiSLAM or how much they paid for it.
One of the methods of locating mobile phones includes the use of GPS and by sensing nearby cell towers. Yes, neither of the said methods works well when the subscriber is indoors. Retail chains are interested in helping their customers to find things easily while they are inside the stores. With the help of a new app, people could easily navigate through aisles and find things in a shorter period of time. ABI Research says that the market for “indoor retail location” will be worth $5 billion by 2018.
Apple initially (and heavily) relied on Google to give them the default mapping and location app for their iPhones. It was only last year, when we witnessed Apple launched its own “Maps App” with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. We are all aware of the unending complaints and problems of the said Maps app.
Reports are saying that even the Google powered iPhone maps app had been lagging. The case is also true with Google’s own Android OS powered devices.
It looks like Apple is now ready to try it again without Google in the picture. The question is, will this new and expensive acquisition give them what they need?
Your thoughts and comments please.
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