Future iOS Devices May Have Built-in Indoor Navigation Technology

Future iOSApple recently acquired a small two-year-old startup, WiFiSLAM that specializes in indoor mapping technology. The company may attempt to compete with Google, as the search engine giant has been pursuing to integrate the same technology to its Google Maps service. For “only” $20 million, Apple can fully take advantage of WiFiSLAM’s expertise in improving Apple Maps and the technology may bode well for other Apple services, including the Passbook.

WiFiSLAM was established by four co-founders and two of them came from Google. This could mean that future iOS devices may include integrated support for indoor positioning and location-based services. The company promised that users can pinpoint specific indoor locations in real time for up to 2.5 meters in accuracy.

WiFiSLAM uses only ambient WiFi signals already present in many builings. Applications not only involve turn-by-turn indoor navigation, but also proximity-based social networking and tighter customer engagements. For example, retailers can send relevant data to Passbook, allowing consumers to receive coupons, deals and reminders from businesses and merchants in a building.