Apple has been making big moves this morning. First, it spent $600 million acquiring IP, talent, and licenses from Dialog Semiconductor in Europe. Then, it confirmed it bought Spektral, a computer vision company based out of Denmark. It is believed this buyout will be an efficient way to “cut out” figures from their backgrounds in images and videos.
It is believed that the deal took place this past December but has only been recently confirmed. Rumors began to surface yesterday after Danish financial newspaper Børsen reported the news. The newspaper raised the evidence that Skepktral’s co-founder and chief technical office Toke Jansen is now listed on Linkedin in as “manager, Computational Imaging at Apple Inc.”
TechCrunch reached out to Apple Inc today and it confirmed the deal saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
By utilizing this sort of technology into their product line, it is possible that it can help refine the subject separation in Portrait mood foods, in the clips app, and many other uses. This sort of technology could be useful to make more realistic cut-out images in augmented reality environments.
According to Spektral’s founders, “To provide high quality cutouts, the core of our engine exploits recent advances in spectral graph theory and neural networks. The computation of pixel transparencies (the alpha channel) for a single image involves solving multiple large-scale equation systems, as well as carrying out multiple feed-forward passes in our neural networks.”
As this sale was made last year, it is possible that some of the Spektral’s technology was used in the iPhone XS and iOS 12.