Chinese search giant Baidu has invested $10 million in Series A funding for IndoorAtlas, a company which uses magnetic fields to establish indoor location.
Baidu plans to boost its indoor mapping capabilities through the tie-up which also sees IndoorAtlas signing an exclusive agreement for China with Baidu.
According to a statement IndoorAtlas uses earth's geomagnetic field to pinpoint the exact location inside a building and has an accuracy of two metres.
Founder and chief executive of IndoorAtlas Professor Janne Haverinen says:
"With this partnership, we now have access to over 1.34 billion potential subscribers at one go. We see this as a huge opportunity not just to make a mark in Asia, but globally, and to make indoor location services ubiquitous and available to everyone."
The company will use the funding to boost its research and development, engineering and business development across the US, Asia and Europe.
Baidu says IndoorAtlas enhances its existing location-based services and maps offering and will help it develop its capabilities for Asia as well as beyond.
A recent report from Opus Research, a specialist in proximity marketing, predicts magnetic positioning will become the basis for indoor location development and highlights the limitations of technology such as beacons.
Google unveiled Indoor Maps about two years ago, including a 'where am I' function, at airports, train stations and other venues in the UK, US, Switzerland and Japan. The search giant also enabled any venue owner to upload blueprints to be included in the technology.
More recently Gatwick Airport claimed it had the largest installation of Indoor Maps and Streetview.
Here's an IndootAtlas clip: