Spektral FX: Apple buys Copenhagen start-up for $30m

Apple buys visual effects startup focused on machine learning

Apple buys visual effects startup focused on machine learning

The tech giant bought the Copenhagen-based firm in December of previous year for more than $30 million but didn't disclose the purchase at the time, according to a Wednesday report by Danish newspaper Børsen.

Apple has made a small but significant secret acquisition that may well point to camera functionality that we will see in iPhone XI and beyond.

The main focus of its products, at least before its acquisition, is a real-time green screen processing to separate people and objects from the background and place another one underneath. 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. Earlier this year, Apple bought Akonia, a startup focused on creating AR lenses, fuelling rumors that it will soon release its long-awaited AR glasses.

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Apple has acquired a Danish machine learning startup called Spektral. 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.

Spektral-formerly known as CloudCutout-was founded by Toke Jansen and Henrik Paltoft with the "vision of becoming the standard software solution for removing the background of images". Also worth considering: Apple analysts have predicted that some sort of augmented reality glasses and driving assistants are on their way. One of the founders of the company (which originally was called CloudCutout), Toke Jansen, notes on his LinkedIn profile that he is now a manager of computational imaging at Apple.

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