The Apple maps service launched last year received universal criticism and a number of laughs following a number of irrelevant searches, warped images and incorrect locations. The service has since been improved but a large proportion of users lost, or never gained, trust in the feature and with blips continuing to appear the uptake of users has been patchy.
Now Apple has acquired indoor mapping company WiFISLAM in the hope of improving it’s still occasionally ropey map app and step up the pace in the race with trusty and most widely used Google maps.
WiFiSLAM uses indoor wifi hotspots to pinpoint accurate locations within 2.5 metres of accuracy. The service can be used to map locations from shopping malls through to office blocks, a benefit to both users of Apple maps and also to the company and marketing companies seeking consumer data for advertising. The potential revenue that could be gained from this data makes the £13million figure Apple paid for the company mere loose change.
Investing in a small, young company may seem risky, especially considering the Apple maps rocky start and dodgy reputation but this feature has potential to bring in a large earning for Apple and for them to compete with the popular Google maps service.