Apple to boost mapping tools with Wifislam buy

27/03/2013

Apple has bought indoor-mapping specialist Wifislam as it looks to expand its maps product to compete with Google.

Watch this video explaining how Wifislam works:

wifislam.jpg

The acquisition could allow the company to offer maps within buildings with an accuracy of 8ft (2.5m).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal cites sources saying Apple paid $20m (£13m) for Wifislam.

Wifislam's technology works by using smartphones to pinpoint its location (and the location of your friends) in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings.

In a statement, the iPad-maker batted away speculation about its plans, saying: "Apple invests in smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans."

Rival Google has stepped up its efforts to add indoor locations to its Streetview tool, accepting more than 10,000 floor plans from businesses who want to be featured.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Bing maps has acquired up to 3,000 indoor locations and Nokia's Destination Maps product has more than 4,000 locations in 38 countries.

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