Apple has picked up another company this week, a company that specializes in indoor GPS. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple paid $20 million to buyout the technologies of WiFiSlam with the goal of integrating their technologies into Apple’s iOS products.
As we know, Apple has wanted to have an in-house version of Maps, one that could compete with Google Maps, but we saw just how deficient Apple Maps was shortly after its launch. Still, Apple wants to reduce Google’s dominance in this field and the acquisition of WiFiSlam is another step in this direction. WiFiSlam is a very young company, one that came on the scene about 2 years ago. The company specializes in indoor GPS and makes use of WiFi signals to find the location of a smartphone within a building. Prior to Apple buying out WiFiSlam, the GPS company made a market for itself by working with app developers to create new indoor mapping apps as well as apps that were specific for retail and social networking.
Google already has some indoor maps for major locations such as city airports, shopping malls and sports arenas. With Google Maps, customers are able to view these locations in a manner that is similar to Street View. It’s probably just a matter of time now before Apple offers up their alternative product in this market.