Apple Acquires Indoor Mobile Location Positioning Firm WifiSLAM for $20 Million

wifislam_logoThe Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has acquired indoor location company WifiSLAM, paying around $20 million for the firm. Apple has confirmed the purchase, but declined to offer any details on its plans for the acquisition.

The two-year-old startup has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps. The company has a handful of employees, and its co-founders include former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang.

Apple has been beefing up its location expertise over the past several years through acquisitions, including small firms such as Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies. With its purchase of WifiSLAM, Apple seems to be adding a new focus on indoor location tracking.

The cornerstone of Apple's mapping effort so far has been its Maps app in iOS 6, which replaced Google as the default mapping application on iOS devices. Apple's Maps app has, however, suffered from significant criticism and the company has been working hard to improve its mapping products.

Top Rated Comments

jrath1 Avatar
107 months ago
Yes! I can finally find my way out of KFC.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newagemac Avatar
107 months ago
It's about time Apple start using it's cash for something worthwhile. There are all sorts of companies like this Apple could be buying for the technology and expertise.

Google's almost entire business is made up of purchases of other companies and they rarely do anything innovative themselves. Other than search, it's mostly been about buying up other people's companies and claiming it for themselves.. Youtube, Android, Applied Semantics (Adsense and Adwords), Picasa, DoubleClick, GrandCentral, Motorola, Admob, Picnik, SageTV, Sparrow, etc.

The list goes on and on...

In fact, Google has been acquiring on average more than one company a week since 2010!

Apple themselves are far more innovative than a company like Google who just buys up other companies but they need to understand they can't do everything alone. There are hundreds of little small companies that come up with interesting new ideas and takes on things. Getting access to the brilliant people in them is probably more important than anything else.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThE.MeSsEnGeR Avatar
107 months ago
let's just hope that when I ask to go to the main office I won't be taken to the nearest toilet.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swarmster Avatar
107 months ago
"Siri, where's my iPhone?"

"In the living room, under the couch."

Apple, make it happen.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
burtba Avatar
107 months ago
It's about time Apple start using it's cash for something worthwhile. There are all sorts of companies like this Apple could be buying for the technology and expertise.
?? Dude, Apple have been doing this for years, where have you been. We have been using MANY technologies in our iDevices that were acquisitions by Apple. Stacks.

Unfortunately Apple are very slow at implementing their acquisitions. Possibly some are just to remove that technology from the market place?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SockRolid Avatar
107 months ago
It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps.

Device (iPhone 5) log:

12:49:35 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:49:45 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:49:55 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:05 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:15 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:25 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:35 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:45 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:50:55 Location: 2nd floor, office 101, desk.
12:51:05 Location: 2nd floor, moving west, 2.2m/s.
12:51:15 Location: 2nd floor, moving west, 2.1m/s.
12:51:25 Location: 2nd floor, moving southwest 2.3m/s.
12:51:35 Location: 2nd floor, mens' room.
12:51:45 Location: 2nd floor, mens' room.
12:51:55 Location: 2nd floor, mens' room.
12:52:05 Location: 2nd floor, mens' room.
12:52:15 Location: 2nd floor, mens' room.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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