Apple wants to map your favorite malls and airports

“In a move that could intensify the battle between Android and iOS, Apple has reportedly acquired an indoor GPS company to begin mapping malls, airports and other hotspots,” Louis Bedigian writes for Benzinga.

“According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple may have paid as much as $20 million for WiFiSLAM, a two-year-old startup,” Bedigian writes. “Founded by Joseph Huang (a former software engineer intern at Google), Jessica Tsoong, Darin Tay and Dave Millman, WiFiSLAM developed technology to pinpoint a smartphone’s location within 2.5 meters. The company uses ambient Wi-Fi signals (which are already present in many buildings) to provide this info in real-time.”

Bedigian writes, “By acquiring WiFiSLAM, Apple will be able to bring indoor maps of malls, airports, convention halls and other indoor complexes to iOS.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple acquires indoor location company WifiSLAM for $20 million – March 23, 2013

30 Comments

    1. They WANT you to wander around the store lost, you’ll see more things you’ll put in your cart. That’s why stores rearrange now and then, keep you walking and looking instead of going to a direct hit for the one product you came for and leaving.

    1. Geez, as a huge 24 fan (who literally used to walk around college wearing a “Counter Terrorist Unit” baseball cap), I have to say that post was genius.

    2. There is no need to upload the schematics. Take a look online for the lengthy talk WifiSlam gave. It is automatic mapping. Product location and sales promotions are some of the key uses. Locating a person in the store who has the app running is a great feature. This person location would apply to store personnel also if you need help.

    1. That’s the real concern. How can consumers put faith in Apple’s indoor maps when the outdoor ones flopped? Of course, getting stranded at the mall is not nearly as bad as getting stranded in the desert…

  1. I’ve been through Chicago O’Hare on several occasions, and when changing airlines, a map from one terminal to the next would be MOST helpful.

    There are others, but O’Hare is the worst.

    1. No, but it will help people who get lost easily. I guess? Just another way to be tracked. “Paranoid”? “I am not paranoid”!…………………… “Is that car following us”?

  2. Oh, such narrow vision. Knowing where someone is and personally customizing the information for that person at that location has so many possibilities. Consider sales and customer assistance. Or biofeedback and emergency assistance or automated medical care.

    Examples:
    • You are a diabetic and the biofeedback notes your need for a food to reset your levels. The system tells you what you need, how much and where it is.

    • The fire alarm goes off and your iOS device tells you the safest way out and tags your location for the emergency teams.

    “Think Different!” Apple does.

    1. I think Apple is more interested in selling advertising. Once you walk into a store you are immediately recognized and subjected to the corporation’s incessant messages to buy, buy, buy. Thanks, but no thanks.

  3. There’s an app for that… well at least for most airports and larger malls and shopping centers. It’s called Point Inside.
    Because the spaces inside malls and airports are often changing, I guess it would be as accurate as the users keep it…

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