Apple has acquired 3D mapping company C3 technologies, as was previously suspected in August, and could be using the service to take their iOS Maps app to the next level with unique 3D mapping effects.
9to5Mac has revealed that Apple was indeed the purchaser of C3 Technologies, and key individuals from the company are said to be working within Apple’s iOS team. The technology brings a way to use missile targeting technology to generate unique 3D mapping effects that could significantly benefit the iPhone’s current mapping system, as shown in the C3-generated image of the Las Vegas strip above. C3 Technologies describes how the system works:
C3 Technologies is the leading provider of 3D mapping solutions, offering photo-realistic models of the world for search, navigation and geographic information systems. Since 2007 when it was spun out of the aerospace and defense company Saab AB, venture-backed C3 has redefined mapping by applying previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications. The Sweden-based company’s automated software and advanced algorithms enable C3 to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user generated images, that together are forever changing how people use maps and explore the world.
Alongside a previous acquisition of 3D mapping firm Poly9 and mapping software developer Placebase, it seems that Apple may well be planning a huge leap forward into 3D mapping for iOS devices, and appears to have been making strategic acquisitions to replace Google’s mapping technology with a system of their own.
C3 technologies’ official YouTube videos are no longer available, but some examples are still floating around, including the above video showing a flythrough of Oslo, Norway, as well as the below video showing a demo of their technology running on a prototype of the original iPad: