Apple testing out indoor location-tracking app

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It's like Apple's version of the Harry Potter Marauder's Map.
Photo: Apple

Apple is currently letting developers test a new Indoor Survey iOS app, which would allow iPhone users to use indoor positioning technology to pinpoint exact locations in real-time, without the need for extra hardware.

The app is part of Apple’s continuing quest to up its game when it comes to mapping technology.

As the app description notes:

“By dropping ‘points’ on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware.”

Apple has notably been working on this area for a while. In 2013, it acquired the indoor positioning startup company WiFiSLAM, which made it possible for smartphones to pinpoint its location or the location of your friends, “in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings.”

This has application in everything from indoor navigation (where did we park the car again?), to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based social networking.

Apple has also launched the iBeacon, while additionally filing a number of patents for similar in-door tracking. The Indoor Survey app doesn’t yet show up on the App Store, but it’s available to look at here.

It was discovered by developer Steve T-S, who posted the discovery on Twitter.

Via: Apple Insider