Coherent Navigation's technology will be used to improve Apple’s Maps service.
Apple has acquired Coherent Navigation, a privately held company in California that specializes in developing commercial high-precision navigation services using Iridium's satellite network. The company's market included construction, agriculture, mining, and oil and gas explorations.
A quick look at the company's profile on LinkedIn shows that it has ceased operations; Coherent Navigation's website is also inaccessible as of this writing. Apple has confirmed the acquisition to The New York Times, responding with a clichéd statement that says, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
In addition, Coherent Navigation's CEO, Paul Lego, is now working at Apple, focusing on Maps, his LinkedIn profile reveals. Moreover, the company's founders—Brent Ledvina and William Bencze—have also joined Apple, working on location technologies. The details of the deal were not disclosed. Word of Apple's acquisition of Coherent Navigation was first reported by MacRumors.
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Apple has been ramping up the development of its Maps service after parting ways with Google Maps in 2012. Since the breakup, Apple has acquired a number of companies including Locationary, Hopstop, Embark, Broadmap and WifiSLAM. Coherent Navigation's iGPS, which combines mid-earth satellites and low-earth satellites for better accuracy and quality, is precious to Apple.