“Apple’s acquisition of WiFiSLAM is one of the first acquisitions of an indoor location positioning start-up,” Bruce Krulwich writes for Seeking Alpha. “Since Apple has a tendency to start (or legitimize) trends, it’s interesting to consider other major companies that are entering the area of indoor location, which are leading in their industry, and what start-up acquisition targets might interest them.”
“Apple was already gathering locations of Wi-Fi access points and using them to estimate location, as Google and others are also doing. But this apparently hasn’t been accurate enough,” Krulwich writes. “WiFiSLAM brings two technologies to the table. One is their very fast & easy method of gathering indoor maps & Wi-Fi fingerprints. Their system uses a cellphone camera to take a picture of an indoor map, and a mobile app to gather fingerprints as a phone user walks around the site. This will make it easy for Apple to add Wi-Fi fingerprinting. In fact, it’s similar in spirit to Google’s mobile app that adds Wi-Fi fingerprinting to Google Maps, although Google’s app doesn’t use cellphone cameras to upload maps (yet).”
Krulwich writes, “WiFiSLAM has also developed very accurate sensor fusion, for tracking phone locations using phone sensors (approach 3). If it really works as claimed, it would be very powerful if added to iOS.”
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