Apple could be extremely close to releasing a new first-party application onto the iOS App Store to complement its already extensive range of app offerings. A new upload, spotted initially hosted under Apple’s name on the App Store going by the title ‘Indoor Survey’, seems to suggest that it could be built around the technology that the Cupertino-based company acquired when it purchased WiFiSLAM – an indoor positioning system startup – for $20 million back in 2013.
The app’s discovery can be credited to developer Steve Stroughton-Smith, who managed to get hold of what is otherwise a hidden listing on the App Store, and searching up for it does not yield any results.
The accompanying iTunes metadata that was included with the mysterious application informs that the software is capable of enabling “indoor positioning within a venue using the Indoor Survey app”.If this stint on the App Store is anything to go by, it looks like Apple has been working on, and is close to releasing an application that allows consumers to determine and broadcast their own position when indoors, thanks to the combined use of radio frequency (RF) signals and the iPhone’s own internal hardware-based sensors.
The rest of the accompanying information that was linked against the Indoor Survey app on iTunes is interesting to say the least, and gives a little insight on how the app actually functions:
By dropping “points” on a map within the Survey app, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the Indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware.
The information then continues on to inform users of the app that continued used of the device’s GPS data and radio could result in significantly decreased battery life. A small price to pay for those individual and business consumers who have a serious need for a service such as this.
The existence of this app, combined with the discoveries made within Apple’s own Core Location developer frameworks, points to the Cupertino-based company building on its existing mapping services with the potential of introducing a fully-functional indoor mapping solution for the iOS platform.
Not usable till Apple approves your Apple ID, the app is however available to view via the iTunes direct link. Indoor Survey seems to have been uploaded to the App Store on the 27th of October and currently sits at version 1.0.
(Source: @stroughtonsmith [Twitter])
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