Since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, Apple has come a long way. The iPhone has always made use of the Apple built Google Maps application which helps to provide users with direction, route guides, how to avoid traffic, current location and other details about users destinations. Like with most modern technology companies now a days, they are always innovating and looking for ways to develop this service.
If you remember in 2009 reports were published claiming that Apple had found their own mapping software development company called Placebase. Their intention was obvious they wanted to form a complete in-house mapping solution and to achieve this they joined a 3D mapping company called Poly9.
When Apple bought Poly9 it was clear that they were interested in the 3 dimensional mapping field. We now have confirmations that Apple has purchased yet another 3D mapping company. C3 Technologies was purchased by Apple in August of 2011. There were a few reports this could have been a rumor at first, but now it it confirmed and we have received reports from reliable sources stating that Apple is indeed the new owner of C3 Technologies.
Reports say that C3 Technologies CEOs are now working in Apple’s iOS division, they are now working in Sweden, where the C3 Technologies company was located prior to the purchase.
So what are they doing exactly?
C3 Technologies specializes in creating high quality and detialed 3D maps with no input from humans. This works by using a camera based technology that picks up buildings, homes, and even smaller objects like trees.
C3 Technologies’ official company description:
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.
We all know that when Apple buys a company they do it with a goal in mind, and they seem to always use their own resources to creat their own elements. This seems to be the best way for Apple. Take the Siri personal assistant for example. So we want to know what this 3D mapping service that Apple is working on is going to look like. The video below is an example of something you can be explection from Apple’s 3D mapping.
Stay tuned with us for the “3D Maps By Apple 😉 ”, coming soon, by following our accounts on Google+ here or Twitter here .
How does this work? This is the interesting part for all you engineers out there.
The video below was made by SAAB, whom was a CEO at C3 Technologies and it explains simply who their technology works:
Completely mind blowing don’t you think?
This seems to suggest that Apple will be moving away from Google and creating its own mapping solution with three companies under the Apple banner it would seem obvious that the company is intending to do so. With Apple’s speedy custom made chips (A4, A5) in the latest round of iOS devices, this could make their mobile mapping solution the best there is. C3′s solutions are so powerful and remarkable, they would give a totally new meaning to maps.
We have a good idea of what to expect with Apple mapping solution. We are consediring three sections: Rebranding, 3D, and Traffic.
Firstly the rebranding: Although Apple and Google have a deal that Apple will be using Google maps for its iOS, Apple clearly has other intentions. We think that Apple will replace Google with Placebase.
Secondly, due to Apple’s aquisitions of both C3 Technologies and Poly9, this has lead us to think that the iOS Maps of the future will all be three dimensional.
And finally, Apple have released a statement to say that they are working on an improved traffic service for end-users.
Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years.
We’re not expecting anything big soon, but we do expect that once it is out it will be very big.