In order to take on Google's indoor maps, Apple has dipped into petty cash and paid $20 million
for WifiSLAM. This company provides indoor location services using Wi-Fi and GPS. Ironically, the company was co-founded by former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang along with Jessica Tsoong. With Google offering indoor mapping for airports, stadiums and shopping centers, Apple needs to compete, especially since Apple Maps started off on the wrong foot
and still has a poor reputation.
WifiSLAM uses Wi-Fi to help apps detect a mobile user's location inside and can detect the location within an accuracy of 2.5 meters
. Apple needs to make these small acquisitions to improve its Apple Maps application. In Australia, the cops called the application life-threatening
as incorrect directions between cities led some travelers to get lost for hours in the Outback. Apple continues to support its mapping application and hopes to strengthen it with acquisitions like this.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the deal with an understatement saying that "[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time