Apple buys GPS start-up to bolster Apple Maps

High-accuracy GPS technology venture may save company’s struggling map software

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Apple has confirmed at the weekend that it has acquired Coherent Navigation, a high-accuracy Global Positioning Software (GPS) company, according to media reports.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company told New York Times in an email, although the deal was first reported by MacRumors.

The acquisition seems to be a part of Apple’s goal of moving away from Google’s mapping software. In 2012 company released its own mapping software with in-house technology transferred by the purchase of Placebase and licensed from Dutch mapping firm TomTom. To that end, Apple also bought companies such as Locationary and Hopstop.

Coherent Navigation was founded in 2008 and its main focus is High Integrity GPS, dubbed as iGPS. Essentially, iGPS is a hybrid technology that combines the signals of the traditional mid-earth GPS satellites with those from the Iridium’s low-earth satellites. Iridium, a satellite operator, claims that iGPS can provide location information accurate to within centimeters.

Although the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, nor was it made clear how Apple will use Coherent’s technology, key employees of Coherent Navigation such as CEO Paul Lego and co-founders William Bencze and Brett Ledvina have begun their shifts at Apple as of last month.

TRTWorld and agencies