Apple buys indoor GPS startup WiFiSLAM

The launch debacle of Apple's in-house Maps app for iOS 6 in September has not been forgotten by many iPhone and iPad users. Now it looks like Apple is trying to make some efforts in not only improving its Maps software division but adding some new features as well.

The company confirmed this weekend to the Wall Street Journal that it has acquired WiFiSLAM, a Silicon Valley-based startup that was founded in 2010 by ex-Google employees. The company has previously raised money from investors to help fund their "Indoor GPS" technology.

A post on the startup's AngelList website states that its product was designed to "allow your smartphone to pinpoint its location (and the location of your friends) in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings." The company's official website has now apparently been taken down.

While Apple did admit it acquired WiFiSLAM, the company did not say how much it paid for the startup. However, the Wall Street Journal says that its sources claim Apple paid about $20 million; in other words, just a tiny portion of Apple's already massive cash stockpile of more than $100 billion.

It's likely that Apple will use the technology developed by WiFiSLAM in a new version of iOS Maps, but exactly when those new features will be added is unknown.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via WiFiSLAM

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