According to 9to5Mac, Apple has purchased its second 3D mapping company called C3 Technologies. Apple bought a company called Poly9 last summer that also specializes in 3D mapping technology.
Rumors have said for years that Apple is working to drastically improve its iOS Maps application with in-house features and improvements. The purchase of C3 Technologies suggests that Apple is working to bring revolutionary 3D technology and hi-quality image rendering to its Maps app on the iOS platform.
“Sure enough, we have now learned Apple is now the owner of C3 Technologies. Sources say that C3 Technologies CEO Mattias Astrom , C3 Technologies CFO Kjell Cederstrand, and lead C3 Technologies Product Manager Ludvig Emgard are now working within Apple’s iOS division. The leading trio, along with most of the former C3 Technologies team, is still working as a team in Sweden (interestingly, the division is now called “Sputnik”), where the C3 Technologies company was located prior to the Apple acquisition.”
There’s plenty of room for Apple to improve its Maps app, and acquiring outside talent and technology reinforces Apple’s unspoken goal to eventually ditch Google’s Maps backend. Apple and Google are huge competitors involved in heavy litigation; it doesn’t make sense for the two companies to continue partnering so closely.
C3 Technologies already showed off its tech at CES 2011. The company uses advanced missile targeting technology to create 3D maps and “seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user generated images.”
Here are some examples of what C3 Technologies can do:
Reports and rumors have indicated that Apple is ramping up its Maps development and recruiting engineers for its Geo Team. It’s obvious that the Cupertino company’s sights are set on the future of Maps for iOS.
Based on this purchase of C3 Technologies, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Apple will be bringing revolutionary 3D mapping to iOS in the future. Nothing drastic will probably happen in iOS 5, but expect big things in the Maps department for iOS 6.