• Good News: Apple Bought C3 Technologies


    Apple could be conducting experiments to bring their Maps app to a more futuristic level.

    C3 Technologies is a 3D mapping company from Sweden. They specialize in creating 3D renderings and Apple seems to think that C3 Technologies might be of use to them in the future. As we know, the iPhone 4S has a dual core GPU which can overtake the A4's capabilities by around seven or eight times. Apple wouldn't add this power for the sake of app developers' games alone – no.. Apple plans to make full use of this processor in one of it's own Apps; Maps. The things that C3 Technologies can provide for Apple's Maps are extensive. To highlight just a few, it would mean a very crisp 3D rendering of the world in real time without having to pre-load or buffer before viewing. It could also integrate very nicely with Google Maps, simply taking what Google has mapped out for streets and locations and sketching it out in a virtual form. C3 Technologies could even replace Google's part in the Maps app altogether. The 3D renders are built using technology that is "camera based" and originated from "declassified missile targeting methods" as 9to5Mac explains. The official company description is below:

    C3 Technologies is the leading provider of 3D mapping solutions, offering photo-realistic models of the world for search, navigation and geographic information systems. Since 2007 when it was spun out of the aerospace and defense company Saab AB, venture-backed C3 has redefined mapping by applying previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications. The Sweden-based company’s automated software and advanced algorithms enable C3 to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user generated images, that together are forever changing how people use maps and explore the world.
    To put into perspective just how powerful C3 Technologies can be, below are some videos that display the elegance and flexibility of this kind of mapping:

    The Hoover Dam:


    Oslo, Norway (YouTube video is mislabeled):


    C3 Technologies would clearly be a more elegant experience than Google Maps. One prime difference is the quality. Google brings to us a birds' eye view of anywhere we peck an address into. We can see that address from a map view, satellite view, or a hybrid of the two. It's unfortunate to say, however that Google's street view isn't very elegant. It's foggy, doesn't always get the camera angle you want, and also it's stationary. C3 Technologies brings a fun solution to all three of these problems. Because the picture is a 3D render, it can be as crisp as your GPU can process. The camera angle can be any angle you want, because you can interact with it. And you can move around the 3D render with your touch. Below is a comparison of Boston, Massachusetts when looked at using Google Maps' satellite view versus C3 Technologies' very own 3D rendering:

    Boston Massachusetts from Google Maps' birds' eye view:


    Boston Massachusetts from C3 Technologies' very own 3D rendering:


    I'm going to have to say I'm very excited to see what Apple can do with C3 Technologies. Will you be excited to see Apple bring this feature to the Maps app? Share in the comments below!

    Sources: 9to5Mac
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