Apple Scoops Up U.K. Camera Startup
|image: Courtesy of Apple|
Public filings in the U.K. indicates Apple has acquired Spectral Edge, a U.K.-based camera startup that applies machine learning to improve the quality of images. The filings indicate Apple now controls Spectral Edge, evidenced by the appointment of one of its corporate lawyers, Peter Denwood, as a director at the company while its other advisers and board members were terminated.
Apple conventionally doesn’t announce acquisitions but is known to purchase startups regularly, evidenced by a recent statement from CEO Tim Cook that Apple acquires a company every two to three weeks on average. Most of its known acquisitions, usually of small startups, were dug up from regulatory filings similar to that of Spectral Edge, a recent example being Apple’s purchase of digital marketing startup DataTiger.
How much Apple paid for Spectral Edge could not be determined but for a hint, the U.K.-based startup raised $8.1 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data. Spectral Edge’s official website — spectraledge.co.uk — happens to have been disabled, a typical occurrence for startups scooped up by Apple. An afore-cited statement from Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is “primarily looking for talent and intellectual property” when it acquires companies, being a possible reason that Apple-acquired startups usually shut down their websites/products, as they usually go on to work on other Apple products.
Apple acquiring a camera startup isn’t surprising as the camera remains one of the core points of interest for customers purchasing the iPhone, its best-selling product. For context, Spectral Edge applies machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to reveal more of the color, detail and clarity in images. The U.K-based startup traces its roots to the University of East Anglia, having been founded in 2014 by researchers from the university.
Spectral Edge’s technology could help bolster the A.I. Apple already uses in its Camera app. The startup has said its technology can be applied through software or chips, two areas Apple has expertise in.