With Google and Apple two big players of the internet industry have entered the indoor navigation market. Are their applications already market-ready? What are the pros and cons?
Indoor navigation by Apple: Indoor Survey and iBeacons
According to the media, Apple is building its own indoor navigation app. In early November 2015 “Indoor Survey” appeared in the app store for a short time, but couldn’t be used without special access data. According to the description, the app allows Positioning via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is interesting to know that Apple devices running on iOS 4.3. and higher prevent client-based positioning via Wi-Fi. Apple currently relies on its own standard iBeacon which is based on BLE. In 2013, Apple bought the startup WiFiSLAM which was specialized in indoor positioning via Wi-Fi. Today, it can only be guessed, what Apple’s plans concerning indoor navigation are. Possibly it wants to create its own Apple-only indoor navigation solution.
Opportunities and risks of indoor navigation by Apple
Apart from the fact that Apple’s indoor navigation solution is not market-ready yet, it is already possible to think about the pros and cons. Users could profit from a probably free service. But they should consider their data security. The number of available locations will likely be not so high because the criteria are strict: They must be accessible to the public, have Wi-Fi and more than 1 Million visitors each year. Location owners could profit from the large coverage of this big partner. But on the other side, they relinquish control of their location and the communication with the users.