Síntesis: A couple of days ago the news broke that Apple had acquired indoor location startup WiFiSLAM. Since the company immediately pulled its website and Apple isn’t exactly forthcoming about its plans for its acquisitions, much of the chatter since then has been speculation.
But, thanks to a video of a detailed WiFiSLAM presentation (thanks Brian) at a Geo Meetup, we now have more information about the exact technologies that WiFiSLAM was using to pull off its indoor magic. We also know what SLAM means and why Apple was so interested in this particular company.
Apple has been gathering location data based on trilateration (or triangulation) of WiFi and cellular signals for some time. You may recall the location database mini-debacle of 2011, when it was made clear that Apple, Google and other companies used WiFi hotspots and cell towers to track users and improve their networks. That blew over in the end as the companies made better efforts to turn the data over and ensure that it was, indeed anonymous and impossible to access outside of those ID-free stores.