Chinese Internet giant Tencent, the maker of WeChat, has pinned down a significant and strategic investment with indoor mapping School startup Sensewhere (www.sensewhere.com). Tencent now has a license to use Sensewhere’s indoor positioning software in Tencent Maps. Sensewhere will also be Tencent’s preferred vendor for location-based advertising services in China.
Tencent Maps is available not only for official accounts in WeChat, China’s largest messaging service, but also for other sites and apps through APIs and SDKs.
Sensewhere’s is a spinout co-founded by Prof Tughrul Arslan and emerged from his research in the Integrated Micro and Nano Systems at the school of engineering. Sensewhere’s technology provides location information in areas where there is little access to satellite GPS data. Instead, Sensewhere’s patented technology uses a small footprint and low power software that runs on smart phones and wearable devices to automatically map Radio Frequency signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and any signals from IoT devices in a dynamic database on the cloud. Tencent’s investment will allow Sensewhere to quickly scale up the development of its indoor location database because it plans to integrate its software with apps made by Tencent and its affiliates.