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Geomagnetic location firm IndoorAtlas scores $10M investment from Baidu

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The Chinese search giant Baidu has invested $10 million in IndoorAtlas, a Finland-based provider of geolocation technology.

[company]IndoorAtlas[/company] is an interesting outfit – it uses the Earth’s geomagnetic field to establish the user’s location, rather than just relying on wireless signals such as those from Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth beacons or GPS satellites.

This means it will work indoors without the need for established wireless infrastructure, though it will obviously work better in conjunction with these other technologies. For example, it can work alongside Bluetooth Low Energy devices like [company]Apple[/company]’s iBeacons to provide the moving blue dot on an indoor map.

[company]Baidu[/company]’s investment nets it exclusivity – no one else will be able to use IndoorAtlas’s technology in the Chinese market. According to Baidu location-based services (LBS) chief Liu Jun, IndoorAtlas’s technology and global coverage will “be instrumental in helping us at Baidu build out our LBS platform for local merchants in China and abroad.”

The investment follows a €3.3 million ($4.3 million) chunk of funding all of two months ago, from Mobility Ventures, KoppiCatch, Vera Ventures, Finnvera and Tekes.

IndoorAtlas said it would use the fresh cash infusion for R&D, engineering and business development in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Meanwhile, this deal has clearly been on the boil for a while – Baidu is already showing off the interplay between IndoorAtlas’s technology and its Baidu Maps service at a conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

One Response to “Geomagnetic location firm IndoorAtlas scores $10M investment from Baidu”

  1. Roman Kikta

    “In the area of indoor navigation, IndoorAtlas has developed a sustainable competitive technical advantage based on unique technology, utilizing the earth’s magnetic fields. As such, the IndoorAtlas technology solution is disruptive in that it does not require an infrastructure of Wi-Fi access points or beacons to be present to operate. By using the earth’s magnetic fields, IndoorAtlas solution presents a significant cost savings both in CAPEX & OPEX for facility owners. Furthermore if Wi-Fi or beacon infrastructure is present, the IndoorAtlas technology dramatically improves the accuracy, performance of the systems to provide several centimeter level accuracy. Leveraging from this, Indoor Atlas is in a strong position to establish a leadership position in the emerging market of mobile indoor positioning and navigation.”