Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Coherent Navigation, a global positioning company, according to news reports. The buy-out was first reported by MacRumors and according to the report, many of Coherent’s employees including the former CEO Paul Lego are already working in Apple.
Apple while it confirmed the purchase refused to comment on the issue and has not disclosed the price for the deal, according to a report in New York Times. If you click on the Coherenet Navigation website, it says the page is not available.
The New York Times report points out that this acquisition of the 2008-founded start-up is significant as it could help boost Apple Maps, a service which faces constant criticism for its poor execution.
The report points out that Coherent “focused on creating commercial navigation services based on partnerships with companies like Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator,” quoting the former CEO Paul Lego’s LinkedIn page. Iridium provides satellite-based communication solutions with satellites phones, etc and has a 66-low-Earth orbiting cross-linked satellites.
According to NYT, Coherent’s system is much more precise than the “consumer-grade” GPS and says that the company has worked on autonomous navigation, robotics and projects for the Defence Department in the US as well.
MacRumors lists out details on Coherent’s navigation system saying that it focuses on High Integrity GPS or what is known as “iGPS.” In this system, Coherent’s combines signals from “mid-earth orbit GPS satellites” with “low-earth satellites of voice and data provider Iridium” and is thus more accurate. Read more on MacRumors here.
It remains to be seen how the acquisition will affect Apple Maps app in 2015 and whether there will be a significant update. Currently Apple needs to do a lot more to get the application up to mark given that it is filled with errors and does not really provide reliable answers at most times.