According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has bought WiFiSlam, the indoor location company for $20M and will now presumably be working to allow Apple iOS devices to self-locate indoors to within 2.5M accuracy in real-time. Indoor location has been an active field for a couple years and Apple’s move will keep it in line with Google who has been working on that technology for a while as well.
If it all works as advertised, WiFiSlam gives “aisle-level” accuracy fast enough to let the consumer get relevant information before he or she moves on to another aisle. That’s the “2.5m in real-time” part and is a Holy Grail of sorts for indoor positioning because of its potential for retail targeting. They use ambient wireless signals from WiFi and Bluetooth which means that you don’t need to install a bunch of extra gear. This is not easy; a lot of companies have been banging away at this for a while.
So, why did Apple want this? Continue reading Indoor Apple? Why Apple Bought WiFiSlam.