Apple has acquired a Silicon Valley startup, WiFiSlam, which makes mapping applications for smart phones based on the triangulation of WiFi signals. The Wall Street Journal reported Apple may have paid around $20 million for the company.
WiFiSlam develops technology that provides indoor tracking and similar services. Big tech companies such as Apple and Google have been racing to provide more and better map applications for users. Google's application, Google Maps, is widely accessed on Google's Android platform and rival Apple's rival iOS platform.
This is a hedged bet that WIFI will become more prominent. When I visit my Dad in a little SoCal town, I purchase a weekend's worth of wifi from the towns built in wifi network. Not only does it enable me to get internet access at Pops, but I can take my device anywhere in town and access it. Presumably, someone believes that triangulation of wifi signals (which Android phones like to do) is subject to IP. Defensive or offensive?
This does presume alot. Mainly, that all areas have WiFi hotspots with known fixed GPS locations.
Is apple going to provide these hotspots or are they going to rely on the public to provide them? And if it's the public providing them, how do they ensure that the WiFi GPS locations are accurate to begin with?
Does this mean we can expect a major announcement of an indoor mapping application for the iphone 8, 9, X or 11? Or maybe it just might make version 7 in another apple mapping boon-doggle. Only time will tell.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.