Feature Article

March 18, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Yandex Purchases Geolocation Firm KitLocate to Boost Mobile Searches

Yandex, a Google-like Russian group that provides search engine and email services, just expanded its operations with the purchase of an Israeli geolocation firm. The company, called KitLocate, specializes in creating low-power location technology solutions meant to extend battery life as long as possible. It is expected that Yandex will be utilizing this technology to bolster its location-based mobile search app, among other services.

Anyone who’s tried to use their smartphone to navigate for a long road trip has probably felt first-hand how disappointing the battery life is when their mobile device is engaged in a mapping app with navigation services. This is because the app and the device have to constantly send and receive signals to and from several GPS satellites in space. However, apps that use location-based services to make recommendations for things like places to eat simply check in once to get location data they need.

KitLocate’s geolocation software development kit adopts the mindset that the device only really needs to check in once to lock in to an initial location in order to conduct location-based services. By utilizing techniques like geo-fencing that recognize when a mobile device enters or exits a specific region along with motion detection and “social location” systems, KitLocate is able to pinpoint a user’s location with a much lower draw on the device’s battery. While active, the geolocation technology reportedly uses less than one percent of the average mobile device’s battery per hour, making location services much less of a hassle for consumers.

The deal is reportedly worth several million euros due to the fact that it represents a ground-breaking solution to resolve the confrontation between GPS location and battery lives. The Israeli company only comes with eight active staff members, but Yandex plans on hiring more engineers and quality assurance workers to prepare the office for working with Yandex and their mostly Russian patrons.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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