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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The 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.
    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.

    Article Link: Apple Acquires Indoor Mobile Location Positioning Firm WifiSLAM for $20 Million
     
  2. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #2
    Would be an excellent addition to Maps and location services in general if your iDevice can figure out its exact location in Airport, shopping centers, large office buildings, parking garages, where GPS is not available.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    iapplelove

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    #3
    20 mil to apple is like a dime to me
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    London, UK
    #4
    Wasn't Google doing the same kinda thing some time ago where they took streetview inside restaurants, museums etc?
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    #5
    Yes! I can finally find my way out of KFC.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    ThE.MeSsEnGeR

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    #6
    let's just hope that when I ask to go to the main office I won't be taken to the nearest toilet.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    gmanist1000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #7
    Google has a lot of universities, malls, etc. mapped out already.

    If Apple can add this to Maps, it would be a nice addition. Who knows how long it would take though.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    ck2875

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    Brighton
    #8
    A benefit this could provide to Apple's location services (in their current state) is to more accurately determine when to pull up Passbook info badges on the lock screen.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #9
    Sounds like Google's plan with their Glass project (navigating buildings indoors).
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #10
    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...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Google

    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.
     
  11. macrumors G5

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    #11
    I would bet this will be coupled with passbook. And also, perhaps, their mapping app.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    simon48

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #12

    Apple has bought a lot of companies themselves too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

    But nowhere near as many as Google.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #13
    With crowdsourcing, they could pretty quickly get maps for a lot of buildings that are easy to get lost in... Large hotels, office buildings, schools, airports, malls...

    Since it uses wifi signals, I wonder if it would also work on cruise lines?
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #14
    ?? 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?
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    MasterHowl

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    #15
    They could speed this up massively by allowing users to help give them info.

    Eg: I could map out 5 buildings per day on my university campus (largest one in the UK, University of Manchester) but it would take forever for Apple to do it themselves.

    If multiple users map out the same building, Apple could just cross check the "results" to see if they match up or something.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #16
    Absolutely, Apple acquires a lot of companies for the sole purpose of burying their inventions.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    szw-mapple fan

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    #17
    Could we see it integrated in iOS7 or is that too much to hope?:rolleyes:
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    #18
    Yeah, but it doesn't count because Apple take something and make it better, whereas Google copy something and just use it to collect your data. Apple won't collect your data at all, because that's not their business*

    *Unless you count iAds, in which case it kinda is their business.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    dec.

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    #19
    That could well be. What is your point, if you have one?
     
  20. newagemac, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013

    macrumors 68020

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    #20
    The number of companies Apple has bought doesn't come anywhere close to the number of companies Google has bought up. Why don't you compare the two?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Google

    And Apple has been in business since the 1970's while Google didn't start until 1998 and didn't become a public company until 2004. :eek: Just face it, Google is an ad company who is pretty clueless when it comes to innovation. They're pretty good at buying up other innovative companies though.

    You don't work for Google I suppose so that's nothing for you to be ashamed about. And there's nothing wrong with being an ad/marketing/PR company like Google is. Somebody has to do it and they are very good at it.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #21
    Fantastic news. I'm surprised it's taken this long for someone to buy them. The beauty of this vs. Google's indoor maps is that Apple will be able to integrate this tech into iOS and send indoor map data to its servers, quickly amassing maps for most popular buildings around the world.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    mrtravel123

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #22
    Home automation is getting that much closer in my opinion. This type of acquisition could help with that immensely.

    Consider your "i" devices (watch, phone) having the ability to control parts of your home.... and your home knowing where you are at.

    Sounds like it could lead to something like what Bill Gates apparently has in his house: home automation where your home knows your preferences, where you are, what doors need to be unlocked, lights, heat, etc.

    My guess is that Apple is looking at the very big picture when it comes to "i" devices being integrated into our entire lives, including just about everything electronic and electric in our houses.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #23
    You approach the front door, it opens. Walk inside, living room lights come on, heat comes on. Stand in front of the tv, your email, macrumors, facebook, and favorite tv content appear. Stand in front of the toilet, seat pops up.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    SgtPepper12

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    Germany
    #24
    I think your concept of "innovation" is flawed.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #25
    american museum of natural history is doing this

    for the last few years the iOS app will work with the museum wifi to tell you where you are in the building and provide directions to other exhibits
     

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