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Apple to Use M7 Motion Sensor for Indoor Positioning – Venues Will Contribute

Apple to Use M7 Motion Sensor for Indoor Positioning – Venues Will Contribute

Apple is improving CoreLocation features in iOS 8 by tapping into the iPhone’s M7 motion coprocessor to allow app developers to get precise indoor positioning data to provide accurate indoor mapping and navigation features. Apple is even asking owners of venues to contribute by providing data about their buildings.



Up until now, CoreLocation has been using a combination of Cellular, GPS, and WiFi technology in order to provide developers with location information from their users. Those technologies can get you within a city block or in some cases close to or inside a venue, but they aren’t enough to provide accurate positioning indoors or features like indoor navigation. 

With the introduction of iOS 8, Apple is offering new features for the CoreLocation API that allow developers to tap into the iPhone’s M7 chip and motion sensors to obtain accurate indoor location, navigation, and even floor numbers.

While iOS 8 will still use GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cellular signals to get you to the venue, once you arrive, it will scan over Wi-Fi, tap into the iPhone’s built in sensors, and provide accurate information about your location and how fast you’re moving through the floor plan. Once indoor positioning is activated, the device’s GPS chip will cut back in order to conserve power.

iOS 8 will also include the ability to display the floor number of your location in the venue, allowing use in apps such as one that would allow you to order a drink or food, and the waitstaff will know where to deliver the order, even if you are moving through out the venue.

Last year saw Apple acquire WiFiSLAM, a company that used similar Wi-Fi based technology to pinpoint a user’s indoor location. Apple has also recently lured talent away from other indoor positioning companies.

An upcoming developer seed of iOS 8 will enable the indoor location features for developers, and provide sample code.

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