Apple buys Flyby to develop indoor mapping realm

Apple buys Flyby to develop indoor mapping realm

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US: According to a news report, Apple has bought another startup that specializes in the world of augmented and virtual reality. The startup named as Flyby Media will help Apple in developing virtual reality, but its tech also has applications for everything from indoor mapping to driverless cars.

Flyby says its technology can be used for "indoor mapping and navigation, autonomous navigation for drones and automotive vehicles, and advanced tracking for Head Mounted Display (HMD) systems." "At the core of our company is a spatial perception platform (V-Fusion) that provides mobile devices with a human-scale understanding of real world environments, enabling them to see, understand, and navigate the physical world."

Its website also said that the startup was looking for "great strategic partners" in 2015, which obviously led to Apple knocking on its door. Flyby is best known in the tech world for powering Google's Project Tango, a 3D motion tracking initiative intended to help mobile apps understand their relation to physical space. Flyby's tech is all about tracking the 3D motion of an object and has been applied to indoor mapping, an area Apple is certainly interested in.

Flyby uses a combination of "cutting-edge computer vision, inertial sensing, and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology" to know where a device like a smartphone is in physical relation to its surroundings. It's already worked on implementing that tech to create floor plans for use with Apple Maps, which would help the app's little blue dot tell you where you are more precisely in somewhere like a crowded mall. It could even know when you pass a specific display in a store, like the shoes section, and label it as such.

The core of its tech is called "VFusion" and can track "drone and car-based systems at distances of up to 10 miles." The Flyby team joins a growing stable of VR and augmented reality experts at Apple who are clearly building something big.

Source: TechCrunch