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Apple buys another navigation company

Apple has acquired navigation company Coherent Navigation in a clear effort to boost its Apple Maps app.

Over the weekend, MacRumours reported that numerous Coherent Navigation employees had begun working for Apple – including the company’s CEO and co-founders. At the same time, Coherent’s website has been taken offline.

Since then, The New York Times has received Apple’s canned response for confirming acquisition news without actually confirming anything at all.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” reads the familiar Apple statement.

So what could Apple want with this new navigation company?

Founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation’s main area of focus appears to be highly accurate GPS positioning technology. Of particular interest is its High Integrity GPS system, which uses standard GPS satellites in combination with certain lower-orbit voice and data satellites for an accurate fix within centimetres.

It doesn’t take much a of a leap of imagination to see where the company’s expertise could be used to boost Apple Maps.

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Apple has made a number of acquisitions in the navigation space over the years. Starting with Placebase in 2009, Apple has sought to build its own mapping tool to rival Google Maps.

Locationary and Hopstop are two more navigation names that Apple has hoovered up in recent times.

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