Today, Apple has purchased the WiFiSlam Company, which has developed a mapping location service for smartphones. Apple paid almost $20 millions for purchasing the Silicon Valley-based company.
The indoor mapping system developed by the WiFiSlam allows users to pin their locations with a 2.5 meters accuracy using only the Wi-Fi signal available in the respective building. Moreover, the system is so accurate that it offers also indoor step-by-step navigation, proximity based on social networking and targeted ads for users who visualize certain products, based on their likes and interests.
It is worth mentioning the fact that the indoor mapping service relies exclusively on internal Wi-Fi connection and the GPS feature is not needed. During the time of the deal, the official WiFiSlam site was unavailable for visitors.
An improved Mapping System
As you all know, Apple has faced some difficulties when developing their own system of maps. At the time iOS 6 was revealed, Apple also revealed the new Apple Maps system, a personal location system that was meant to replace the old-native Google System. Since they encountered various problems with their fresh system, the WiFiSlam purchase might turn out to be the right decision.
It is hard to offer a real competition for some markets leaders in what concerns a certain field, as it was the case of Apple Maps. It takes some time before all details and features are gathered together in a perfectly functional state before they can offer a reliable service.
Apple might take advantage of the WiFiSlam technology in order to develop targeted advertising in shops or malls, as well as to guide its users when they encounter difficulties while roaming around bigger buildings or companies.
Other important companies focused their attention on indoor mapping services, as it is the case of Google or Nokia, which already revealed an indoor mapping locations service, somewhere in the last quarter of the last year. For example, Google already offers support for indoor mapping in what concerns airports, shopping malls and sport venues.
However, indoor location businesses are around for a few years now, and these days, it has become a real trend. Apple interest for such service comes a little bit late since most developers on the market used the indoor mapping service for a while.
Apple did not offer an official press release confirming the latest purchase as well as its intentions with the service. As far as it is concerned, all we have to do is to wait to see how things will turn out to be for the Apple new system of indoor mapping support.