Shelling out just under $20 million, Apple purchased startup WiFiSLAM earlier this month (reported by the Wallstreet Journal), adding the company’s indoor mobile location services to Apple’s broad library of technological proficiencies. As the market for context-based services heats up, this move suggests Apple’s intent to play catch-up with its competitors in the market.
What’s on the horizon for Apple?
First, let’s take a look at what WiFiSLAM brings to the table:
Integration of these location-based capabilities will drive a new wave of applications facilitating enhanced personal interaction and engagement. Expect to see retail organizations leverage this technology with targeted advertisement, social networking and other types of consumer engagement.
How much ground will Apple gain in the location-based services space?
Let’s be sure to level-set expectations. This is an important step for Apple and – more importantly – a key sign of what’s to come from Apple and from the location-based services market as a whole. And yet, in the end, the proof is in the pudding. Apple has had its sights set on location-based technologies for a while now, with several other acquisitions in recent years. Time is running out for Apple – and others – to bring a solid, stable location-based product to market.