Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Apple Acquired Machine-Learning Green Screen Startup For $30 Million

Apple buys visual effects startup focused on machine learning Danish startup Spektral sold to Apple for $30 million
Cecil Davis | 12 October, 2018, 21:14

According to a new report from Fortune, Copenhagen-based visual effects startup Spektral was acquired by Apple for $30 million Dollars at the end of 2017 in a deal that was only disclosed this week.

So what led Apple to acquire the firm?

This Spektral got its start by developing a software with a technique called "CUTOUT", that allowed photographers to digitally pluck an individual down to the stray hairs from one green screen such as background and plunk them down in front of another. For one, it's been investing in augmented reality since at least past year when it also opened its software developer's kit to address augmented reality.

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CRN has reached out to Apple for comment on the reported acquisition. It's worth noticing that the technology is giving as real-time "green screen" processing, and powered by machine learning algorithms.

While Apple is keeping quiet about exactly what the startup's tech will be used for (or is already being used for), it has increasingly utilized smart machine learning tools with its iPhone camera and associated apps. Now the company advertises that it can do that in real time, creating a "mixed reality". Also worth considering: Apple analysts have predicted that some sort of augmented reality glasses and driving assistants are on their way.

The acquisition is suspected to have happened several months ago, with co-founder Toke Jansen's LinkedIn profile suggesting he has been a manager of computational imaging at Apple since December 2017.