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Apple Acquires Coherent Navigation, a GPS Start-Up

Apple Acquires Coherent Navigation, a GPS Start-Up

For many of the largest Silicon Valley technology companies, location software undergirds numerous applications and features in their products. For Apple, it has been a game of catch-up. To that end, Apple confirmed on Sunday that it had purchased Coherent Navigation, a Bay Area global positioning company, further bolstering Apple’s location technology and

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in an email. Founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation was a small firm that focused on creating commercial navigation services based on partnerships with companies like Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator, according to a description on the LinkedIn page of Paul Lego, the company’s former chief executive.

Since its start, the importance of its technology has only grown. Coherent Navigation worked on high-precision navigation systems, technology that is far stronger than many consumer-grade global positioning systems, which are typically accurate to within three to five meters. In the past, Coherent Navigation has also worked on autonomous navigation and robotics projects, according to previous company job listings, as well as projects for the Defense Department.

It is unclear exactly how Apple will use the company’s services or technology, or if the company will incorporate its prior work into Apple’s current products. Terms of Apple’s acquisition of Coherent Navigation were not disclosed.  The acquisition, which was first reported by the technology site MacRumors, is another in a string of location technology service acquisitions made by Apple over the past six years. The purchase of Placebase, a small mapping service, in 2009 represented Apple’s transition to building its own mapping technology. Over the following years, Apple bought a string of companies in much the same vein, including Locationary and Hopstop.


February 2018
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