Tag Archives: Apple

Apple acquires Indoor.io

Commentary

With the number of indoor location-based services Apple has been acquiring these past years, it’s clear that the technology giant is committed to improving its location mapping, a service that has long been dominated by Google. Its latest buy is Indoor.io, a Finnish startup specialising in indoor mapping. The deal follows the company’s acquisition in 2013 of WifiSLAM, an indoor GPS startup that use wifi signals to pinpoint a mobile phone user’s location. Analysts predict that indoor location and positioning will soon be be huge and will unlock countless opportunities for consumers and businesses. In addition to navigation, indoor mapping can be used for proximity-based messaging, games, promotions, security, location sharing, analytics, and many more.

The future of mobility

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The recent partnership between Apple and Didi Chuxing underscores the changing market dynamics in today’s auto industry. Consumers have started to shift from traditional car ownership to ride sharing, while tech companies are investing heavily in autonomous driving technologies in the hopes to make the roads safer and traveling more convenient. It’s a combination of these trends that has created a market conducive for partnerships and investments. In addition to Apple’s investment in Didi, other companies have recently partnered up, either to take on Uber or to explore the possibilities of autonomous cars. General Motors invested in Lyft, who has teamed up with Didi, Ola and Grab. Google has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Chinese rivals Alibaba and Tencent have both invested in Didi. In short, this market consists of many alliances and these partnerships will surely unlock new transportation experiences for consumers.

Apple invests $1 billion in Didi Chuxing

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Last week, Apple surprised the tech industry by investing $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing, formerly known as Didi Kuaidi. According to sources, Didi Chuxing dominates 90% of the Chinese market and is valued at $25 billion. This deal is Didi’s largest investment so far. Thanks to previous investments from Alibaba and Tencent, the startup’s current funding round is oversubscribed. Thus, Didi does not really need Apple’s funding. However, the deal is beneficial for Apple for several reasons. The investment will allow Apple to have a more cordial relationship with the Chinese government and it will help the company gain valuable insights into the Chinese ride-hailing app and self-driving car markets.

Apple investing in Augmented Reality

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After months of speculation, Apple finally confirmed its acquisition of FaceShift, a Swiss-based visual effects startup responsible for the motion-capture technology used in the new Star Wars movie. FaceShift specialises in software that allows 3D animated avatars to mimic the facial expressions of a person. Why would Apple buy FaceShift since it’s not an obvious fit for Apple’s current line of principally consumer technologies. Experts predict that Apple could be preparing to move into the realm of Augmented Reality (AR). In addition to FaceShift, Apple has also recently purchased AR technology-related companies namely, Primesense, Polar Rose and Metaio. With these acquisitions, Apple stakeholders can now be assured that the tech giant is taking the AR trend very seriously.