Apple CEO Tim Cook waves after meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Apple quietly acquired a Finnish company called Indoor.io to help it map indoor spaces, Bloomberg reports .
The Cupertino-headquartered company reportedly made the acquisition to improve its mapping service and ensure that it stays up to speed with Google.
The value of the acquisition is unknown.
A Bloomberg source said Apple wants people to use iPhones to navigate airports, and other buildings that have a high footfall, like museums.
Apple purchased Indoor.io to help it bring its indoor mapping project to market, according to Bloomberg.
Apple confirmed the acquisition with Bloomberg but did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. In 2013, Apple purchased another startup focusing on indoor navigation called WiFi Slam.
The Bloomberg report also states that Apple wants to use drones to capture and update map data, according to a Bloomberg source cited in the same report. Drones would potentially allow Apple to capture information quicker than its existing fleet of camera-equipped mini vans.
Other US tech giants are also looking at novel ways to use drones across their businesses, with much of the work taking place in the UK. Amazon, for example, is testing delivery drones at a field in Cambridge , while Facebook wants to use drones built by a Bristol-based company to beam internet signals around the world.