Apple Acquires WiFiSLAM Indoor Location Tech Startup
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has acquired indoor mobile location positioning firm WiFiSLAM, in a deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica Lessin reports:
“Apple has acquired indoor-GPS company WifiSLAM, a sign that the war over indoor mobile location services is heating up. Apple paid around $20 million for the Silicon Valley-based company, according to a person familiar with the matter who said the deal closed recently.
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.”
Founded in 2010 by former Google engineering intern Joseph Huang and Jessica Tsoong, WifiSlam develops technology that allows mobile apps to find a person’s exact location inside a building by using wi-fi signals. Such tech has been alluring to brick-and-mortar retail organizations that wish to gain more location-based data on customers as they browse a store, not to mention museums, theme parks, malls, and convention centers.
Apple could implement the positioning assets into its much maligned iOS Maps app as an answer to Google’s Indoor Maps initiative, which leverages crowdsourcing to deliver indoor location information for a number of sites worldwide.
[Wall Street Journal]