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Apple Advances Next-Gen Live Indoor Mapping Technology based on Inertial Navigation

1af 88 cover AR patent


Apple was granted a patent for this invention in August 2016 and you could read the finer details and key aspects of the invention here. Apple had acquired this patent from Flyby Media Inc. and Regents of the University of Minnesota. The technology supplements and compliments that which Apple acquired from startup WiFiSLAM back in 2013. The patent covers indoor mapping being communicated onto a future iPhone, iPad or VR headset (or VR glasses) display using VR techniques and unique guidance Virtual Path Indicators that are presented in our cover graphic. The accuracy of inertial navigation is down to mere centimeters.


Today the U.S. Patent Office published Apple's patent application 20160350926 wherein Apple has cancelled the original 28 patent claims and replaced them with 18 new claims so that the technology prioritizes Apple's agenda for this AR technology.


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Apple's patent FIG. 11 noted above is an example of an image output by a display of a device that includes a visual-based inertial navigation system, in which a virtual path is overlaid on the image.


For those wanting to know the specific changes that Apple has made to their patent claims, you could view the original patent claims here and the new ones that Apple has laid out in their most recent filing here.


Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time. That being said, there's a race between Apple and Google on this front and it would be great to see this technology landing on a future iPhone before it does on a future Pixel phone by Google. See our 2014 report on this topic titled "Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War," for more background.


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