Will Apple Deploy Robot-Led Indoor Mapping?
According to 9to5 Mac, Apple will update its iOS Maps to help users navigate major buildings, offices and landmarks. The feature is not expected to go love this year, as the company is believed to be mapping out its own offices in Cupertino, California. The robots are similar in size to iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaners.
The publication said Apple has let loose autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors to collect data for its indoor mapping project.
In addition to indoor mapping, 9to5 Mac stated that Apple currently plans to debut a bus, subway and train route navigation. The feature is expected to be a "central upgrade" to the Maps app in iOS 9 at WWDC.
The Transit directions service would allow iPhone users to navigate mass transit via the official Apple Maps application for the first time since Apple removed Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) as its official provider of map data. The Transit functionality was scrapped from iOS 8 very late into development after being included in internal iOS 8 betas, according to 9to5 Mac.
Commenting on the report, JP Morgan's Rod Hall noted that the Apple Maps is still a "problem area" for Apple due to spotty directions that is sometimes correct and sometimes not. The analyst added that nevertheless, the inclusion of public transport direction is still a "positive."
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