With the number of GPS companies Apple has been scooping up in the
last few years, Tim Cook may have a whopper of upgrade to announce for
Apple Maps at the company’s upcoming developers conference in June. The
latest buy is Coherent Navigation, a technology startup that specializes
in ultra-accurate GPS tracking. Apple confirmed the purchase on Sunday.
in San Mateo, Calif. and founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation is listed
on LinkedIn as being part of the defence and aerospace industry, and
according to reports it counts the U.S. Department of Defence among its
clients. It appears to have under 10 employees.
focuses on so-called High-Integrity GPS or iGPS, according to MacRumors,
which first reported the acquisition. This involves combining location
signals from the low-earth orbit satellites operated by mobile satellite
service Iridium, along with signals from U.S. Air Force-operated
mid-earth GPS satellites.
The result, according to this 2009
press release from Iridium, is enhanced GPS tracking with more precise
locations and fewer blocks in the signal. The service has the potential
to provide GPS positioning data within “centimetres,” according to
Iridium. Current standalone GPS provides data to within meters.
confirmed the deal to the New York Times with its boilerplate statement
on acquisitions, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from
time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
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