Apple Opens Map Office in India

Apple today announced the opening of a new office in Hyderabad that will focus on development of Maps for Apple products.

“This investment will accelerate Maps development and create up to 4,000 jobs,“ the company said today.

“The talent here in the local area is incredible and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations.” added Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who travelled to India this week for the opening of the office.

This new office is developed in partnership with RMSI, an IT services company specializing in GIS. “We are experts in geospatial data and we will be hiring thousands of people from the local area to support this effort,” said RMSI CEO Anup Jindal.

Hotbed of GIS software expertise

India has been for a long time a hotbed of GIS software resources. Tele Atlas (then TomTom) has been in the country for more than a decade and HERE has a significant center in Mumbai for a few years, while Google has located significant resources in the country for Google Maps (Google Map Maker was invented in India).

We can also mention smaller players like Dutch map maker AND which map development is fully done in India, and, obviously, the leading local map vendor Mapmyindia, based out of New Delhi.

Visiongain Forecasts UBI Market at 33M Policyholders in 2016

Usage-Based Insurance (UBI), also known as telematics-based insurance, is increasingly being adopted worldwide, according to a new report by Visiongain.

According to the research firm, UBI will account for 33 million policyholders in 2016, a significant increase over the 21.7 million policyholders accounted for in 2015. Over $21.8bn of automotive premiums will be generated by the Usage-Based Insurance market in 2016, per the research.

“Already commonplace in Italy, the United States and the UK, a number of new markets have recently experienced a growth in the adoption of UBI including Japan, South Africa, and Brazil.“

The research firm expects smartphone and hybrid solutions to play an increasingly influential role in the UBI market.

Overestimated market

As we already pointed out last year (read here), this report seems to overestimate the current penetration of UBI.

Research firm IHS recently estimated the UBI market at 12 million policyholders in 2015: around 5 million in the United States and 3.6 million in Italy.

Today, Italy is the only country in which UBI has a double digit share of the insurance market, representing 10 percent of the market there in 2015, according to the IHS Automotive report.

Comtech Launches Cloud-Based Hybrid Positioning Engine

Comtech, which recently acquired Telecommunication Systems (TCS), announced today at Internet of Things World in Santa Clara the launch of a cloud-based hybrid positioning engine.

This cloud platform, using the technology developed by Loctronix – a company acquired one year ago – uses all signals available (GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Low Power Wide Area Networks) to compute an indoor or outdoor position in the cloud.

To learn more about this platform GPS Business News spoke with Sameer Vuyyuru, Vice President Networking Platforms & Virtualized Applications at Comtech.

Listen to the podcast below:

Wistiki Bluetooth Tracker CEO: “We Raised €1M in Crowdfunding“

France-based Wistiki, a startup manufacturing Bluetooth trackers, has launched today their latest product called Wistiki by Starck.

As the name implies the small tracker has been designed by famous French designer Philippe Starck. The premium Bluetooth tracker (€49.90) is made of satin-finish steel with a colored plastic end cap that houses the Bluetooth antenna.

The Bluetooth chipset is coming from Dialog semiconductor and the range claimed by the company is 100 meters (in open space) while the battery (not removable) is made for three years use.

The tracker started to sell today in France – with 100,000 units shipping to retailers – and is expected to reach international markets: U.S., UK, Germany and Japan in the coming months.

In the audio podcast below GPS Business News interviewed with Wistiki CEO Bruno Lussato.

High Mobility: Connecting Cars with Consumer Devices (Podcast)

GPS Business News recently met with Risto Vahtra, CEO at High Mobility, a Berlin-based startup company which motto is to connect cars with consumer electronics, be it a smartphone, a smartwatch or more.

The company is building a platform interfacing these two worlds and making it easy and secure for car manufacturers to open APIs to their vehicles and simple for developers on the other side.

Listen to the podcast with Risto Vahtra:

Estimote “Beaconizes“ EXPO 2016 with 5,000 Beacons

EXPO World Fair has just launched in the Turkish city of Antalya with over 8 million people expected to visit until October. For the first time ever The World Fair is also using microlocation technology based on Bluetooth beacons.

The EXPO 2016 app offers step-by-step navigation through 1.2 million sq meters of venues and comes with accessibility features for visually impaired.

The app helps the EXPO 2016 organizers with built-in analytics to let them see in real-time how many people are gathering and where. It’s crucial for safety and understanding which events are the most successful.

The app has been built by VesLabs and is powered by a network of almost 5,000 Beacons from Estimote. This makes EXPO 2016 one of the biggest iBeacon projects to date.

European GNSS Agency & InLocation Alliance Sponsor Geo IoT World Awards

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the InLocation Alliance have joined the Geo IoT World Awards as sponsors.

The awards ceremony will take place on May 25, 2016 at Geo IoT World in Brussels in front of an audience of more than 200 LBS industry decision makers.

The GSA, which manages Europe’s GNSS programmes (EGNOS and Galileo), is sponsoring one of the fourth awards: IoT Solutions empowered by GNSS.

The GSA is looking for the most innovative IoT applications that rely on GNSS and leverage the enhanced possibilities offered by Galileo across multiple verticals: automotive sector, consumer electronics, smart cities, public transport, manufacturing, supply chain logistics, retail, leisure or healthcare.

The InLocation Alliance is sponsoring the “Indoor Location & Proximity Services“ award.

The InLocation Alliance (ILA) was founded by the mobile industry to accelerate the adoption of indoor position solutions that will enhance the mobile experience by opening up new opportunities for consumers and venue owners.

Two other awards are covering innovation in “Location Intelligence“ and “IoT Networks“.

The award deadline is on May 15th to submit your innovation.

Full details and entry submission:

BlooLoc, Eliko, HERE,, Nextome & SenionLab Join Indoor Location Testbed

BlooLoc, Eliko, HERE,, Nextome and SenionLab are the first companies registered to the Indoor Location Testbed to be held during Geo IoT World on May 25-26, 2016 in Brussels.

The Geo IoT World Indoor Location Testbed is a unique, real life test of commercial indoor location positioning technologies.

For the first time multiple indoor location technologies will be enabled in a same location and potential prospects will be able to experience a diverse set technologies with or without infrastructure, pure software with smartphone sensors or a combination of software and dedicated hardware.

The results of the Testbed will be released in a report published by Grizzly Analytics, a research firm dedicated to indoor location technologies.

Learn more here:

Telogis Selects HERE Real-Time Traffic

The latest releases of Telogis Navigation and Telogis Route software will include HERE Real Time Traffic and Traffic Patterns with historical data and real-time estimated time of arrival (ETA) updates.

Real-time traffic gives a comprehensive picture of current road conditions that will affect truck-specific directions in Telogis Navigation and accurate calculations in Telogis Route. Additionally, HERE technology enables Telogis customers to optimize their route planning in advance by taking into account how traffic flows historically on the selected roadway at a given point in the day.

"The accuracy and immediacy of HERE’s technologies enables Telogis to produce an industry leading navigation, route optimization and response management results," said Krishna Vanka, VP, Product Management, Telogis Route and Response. "Combining historic traffic with specific truck attributes allow our customers to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction and employee retention."

Google Takes Over Beacon Industry Adding Security to Eddystone

iBeacon was initially introduced by Apple in September 2013. The technology uses low cost (starts at $5) and low power Bluetooth Smart devices that broadcast data to smartphones to trigger actions in a mobile application.

The system was initially used for retail but has evolved into much more than that (entertainment, transport, etc.), to the point where market research firm ABI Research forecasts shipments in excess of 400 million by 2020. A whole industry was born from the beacon idea with hundreds of hardware and software company focussing on the technology and related application fields.

In 2015 Google replied to Apple with a similar beacon standard called Eddystone. Eddystone was already more sophisticated than iBeacon, offering the opportunity to trigger a mobile browser instead of an app and to broadcast a data packet with richer functionalities such as the transport of additional sensor information.

Security problem

By design, the Apple iBeacon advertisement frame is plainly visible, which can be a problem. First it can be replicated which open ways to spoofing. Second because it can be used by competing third parties. A retailer you could potentially trigger its own app when it is nearby a beacon in the shop of one of its competitors.

Encrypted beacon data

To secure beacons, Google last week introduced Ephemeral IDs (EID), a beacon frame in the Eddystone format that gives developers more power to control who can make use of the beacon signal.

Eddystone-EID enables a new set of use cases where it is important for users to be able to exchange information securely and privately. Since the beacon frame changes periodically, the signal is only useful to clients with access to a resolution service that maps the beacon’s current identifier to stable data. In other words, the signal is only recognizable to a controlled set of users.

Eddystone-EID works with Android but also with iOS.

When Google takes the lead

When launched last year Eddystone had been immediately embraced by a number of hardware beacon vendors.

Now EID is supported at launch by more than 15 companies, including some of the most well know beacon vendors: Gimbal, Estimote, Radius Networks, Sensoro to name just these.

In addition to beacon manufacturers, Google has been working with a range of innovative companies to demonstrate Eddystone-EID in a variety of different scenarios.

As an example, the leading luggage brand Samsonite and Spanish beacon manufacturer Accent Systems are developing a suitcase with Eddystone-EID where users can securely keep track of their personal luggage.