C3 Technologies 3D mapping technology coming to mobile?

News Ben Griffin 12:28, 2 Aug 2011

C3 Technologies, the company behind impressive 3D mapping technology, was bought in July appears to have been bought - but by who?

C3 Technologies, a Swedish company that specialises in 3D mapping, has been acquired by an unknown entity, it would appear.

Saab AB sold its 57.8 per cent stake in the company for approximately $150 million dollars in July of 2011, according to MacRumours.

C3 Technologies' website has since been taken down - visitors are now greeted with a '404 not found' error.

Technology like this could be used by a large number of companies, but Nyteknik.se reports the buyer is of western origin:

'We have promised not to say who the buyer is. But there are no Chinese or other Asian companies. It is a company in the Western world, says one of Saab today after the deal is worth 1 billion.'

Whilst that revelation doesn't remove many names from the list, 3D mapping of such astonishing quality (think SimCity), unveiled by C3 Technologies at CES 2011, would go perfectly with Google's own mapping service. And with Android users also using Google Maps for navigation, it's a perfect fit.

However, the demonstration software was shown on both Apple and Android devices. Considering Apple's current dependency on other mapping services, it would make sense for it to get some of its own technology. 3D maps on the iPhone 5 would be a particularly useful asset and one we can see consumers really getting behind.

The plot thickens, though. According to Business Wire, C3 Technologies became a part of Nokia's Ovi Maps in April, 2011. Nokia is a big patent holder, so it certainly isn't shy to acquire new tech.

Nokia's also now in partnership with Microsoft, which makes us wonder if 3D mapping will end up on Windows Phone 7 or whether Nokia would keep it for MeeGo to give it a unique selling point.

Whatever the outcome, somebody in the western world just bought themselves complex mapping technology that brings maps alive and that's pretty exciting.

For all your technical types, C3's technology uses complex image processing to develop 3D maps. Precise, photo-realistic models can be created using complex algorithms.

Don't worry too much if that sounds confusing, it's confusing enough for us. Just check out the video below to see what we mean by SimCity-esque mapping.

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