In the midst of a major overhaul for its Maps service, Apple seems to have made another under-the-radar acquisition as the company apparently snapped up Coherent Navigation, makers of high-accuracy GPS devices and software.
Coherent Navigation co-founders Paul Lego, William Bencze, and Brett Ledvina have all joined Apple in recent weeks, and the company’s domain name has been redirected to Apple’s network. The changes were first noted by MacRumors.
The reasons behind the acquisition are unclear, but it’s likely that Apple is interested in bolstering the accuracy of its GPS-based location services. Lego lists himself as a member of Apple’s Maps team, while Bencze and Ledvina point to positions in location technologies.
Coherent specialized in high-precision GPS, which combines standard GPS data with data from the Iridium satellite communications constellation. It made devices for civilian use and was involved in numerous projects with the U.S. government, including military location technologies.
Apple is known to be overhauling Maps ‘front-to-back,’ and a growing number of services and applications — including many on the Apple Watch — rely on precise location data. The company is expected to unveil its next update during June’s Worldwide Developers Conference.