Skyhook Wireless

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Skyhook Wireless
Founded 2003
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people Jeffrey Glass, CEO
Dan Gill, SVP of Sales
Jim Crowley, President
Nick Brachet, CTO
Farshid Alizadeh, CSO
Steve Solari, COO
Kipp Jones, VP Product
Mike Schneider, VP Marketing
Products Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) & Loki
Services Location Based Services & Positioning Technologies
Revenue undisclosed

"Skyhook Wireless" is a big data company based in Boston, MA that specializes in location positioning, context and intelligence. Founded in 2003, Skyhook originally began by working on Wi-Fi location and evolved with the idea that hybrid positioning technology, which incorporates Wi-Fi, GPS, cell towers, IP address and device sensors, could improve their location services.

Today, Skyhook's Precision Location provides positioning to tens of millions of consumer mobile devices and applications. With more than a billion geolocated Wi-Fi access points, 7 billion+ monthly location requests, 10s of millions of devices, 2.5 million geofencable points of interest, 1 billion+ geolocated IP addresses and 30 million+ cell towers, Skyhook technology enables businesses to gain insight to optimize mobile experiences, provide content and certify that someone is where they say they are.


Skyhook was founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean, who traveled frequently for work and noticed the proliferation of wireless signals [1] each time they opened their laptops to check their e-mail. Morgan and Shean realized that Wi-Fi signals travel only a few hundred feet at most, so if you have a map of the Wi-Fi networks in a given area, you can use those signals to pinpoint a phone’s location. Skyhook’s database was initially gathered through wardriving,[2] when the company sent teams of drivers around the United States, Canada, Western Europe and selected Asian countries to map out Wi-Fi hot spots. [3]

Having pioneered the concept of Wi-Fi location in 2003, Skyhook's global network is approaching over one billion access points and it is currently deployed on over 100 million devices. It powers location-based services for companies such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, HP, Dell, MapQuest, Symantec, OpenTable, Priceline and hundreds of other mobile apps. Skyhook continues to break new ground and expand its presence in location accuracy, flexibility and power management while also helping to build the market for location-based intelligence with its SpotRank offerings. [4]

Skyhook received its first patent in 2007, and now holds over 60 patents in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.[5]

Skyhook has now taken location far past simple latitude and longitude, making massive amounts of data actionable from macro level trends to demographic insights. In February 2014, Skyhook Wireless was acquired by TruePosition Inc., a provider of wireless location solutions and a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation. The acquisition bolsters the product portfolio of both companies by leveraging their complementary technologies.


To pinpoint location, Skyhook uses a reference network composed of the known locations of over 700 million Wi-Fi access points and cellular towers. Skyhook's coverage area includes most major metro areas in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Precision Location SDK[edit]

Skyhook offers a software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to create location-enabled applications. This uses Skyhook's software-only Hybrid Positioning System on the platform of their choice. The software development kit is compatible with all GPS and provides excellent accuracy and confidence estimation.

The SDK supports Android 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3.x (Gingerbread), 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich), and 4.1.x (Jelly Bean) including forked platforms such as the Kindle Fire, along with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.[6]


Optimized Location

Skyhook’s Optimized Location is a hybrid-positioning engine for device manufacturers and app developers who need precise location. Optimized Location combines GPS, Wi-Fi, cell tower, IP and device sensors to deliver low power consumption and fast time-to-first-fix even in dense urban and indoor environments by combining weak GPS signals with geolocated Wi-Fi networks to deliver precise location 99.8% of the time and within a second.

Certified Location

Using its hybrid positioning system, Skyhook calculates latitude and longitude and assigns confidence scores for each location request to verify device location. This product is designed for apps that must comply with regulatory standards (such as blackout or gambling restrictions ) or security measures.

Hyperlocal IP

Skyhook has built a living network of geolocated IP addresses by matching precise GPS and Wi-Fi data with the IP address from billion of location requests. This data allows Skyhook to position IP addresses down to below 100 meters and deliver demographic and venue context for each IP address.

Offline Location

Offline Location provides precise positioning data even when an Internet connection is unavailable. It’s designed for mobile connected devices, wearable technology or Internet of Things devices that intermittently connected to the Internet. Mobile app developers also use Offline Location to deliver location awareness to users even in areas where wireless signal is poor.

Infinite Contextual Geofences

Skyhook technology enables an infinite number of geofences with infinite layers of context by constantly swapping active geofences on and off based on the device’s general location at any point in time.

Geospatial Insights

Skyhook’s Geospatial Insights digitally quantify real-world consumer behavior by using location requests from mobile devices to capture anonymized consumer foot traffic.

Demographics and Venues

Skyhook’s Demographics and Venues add context to location data by providing demographic profiles on users, venues and geographic areas.

See also[edit]


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