Apple reportedly buys Danish machine learning startup

Doris Richards
October 12, 2018

One of Apple's strengths is that it doesn't acquire companies without a mapped out strategy in mind. Apple is known to be keen to get ahead in the field of augmented reality (AR), and Apple Insider speculates that this may be behind the acquisition.

With that said, every Apple acquisition tends to be big news because it can often signal the type of features we might eventually see in future Apple products.

Apple had kept its $30m acquisition of virtual reality (VR) firm Spektral a year ago a secret until Danish newspaper Brsen got hold of the story, reports Apple Insider. As it did with Siri, AuthenTec, LinX and others, Apple likes to purchase smaller companies with something unique to offer iPhone users.

Spektral got its start by developing software that enabled photographers to digitally pluck a person-down to the pesky stray hairs on their head-from one green screen-like background and plunk them down in front of another.

It's seemingly given credence by the fact that Spektral co-founder Toke Jansen, whose research at the Technical University of Denmark served as the basis for the startup's technology, now lists Apple as his employer on LinkedIn.

The app has gone through a number of guises, it was also called (for obvious reasons) CloudCutout. It provides a path to do same in the digital cloud, photographers once did by hand with film and later did by mouse in photo editing software. It's worth noticing that the technology is giving as real-time "green screen" processing, and powered by machine learning algorithms. It's touted as efficient enough to process footage from a smartphone's camera in real time at a rate of 60 frames and using only the built-in graphics card.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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