Apple acquisition


'Apple acquisition' Articles

Apple Acquired Talent and Technology From Cloud-Based Music Provider Omnifone in August

Apple recently acquired technology from cloud-based music platform Omnifone and has hired more than a dozen former Omnifone employees, reports TechCrunch. Apple's interest in Omnifone was first shared by MacRumors back in July, but could not be confirmed at the time. At least 16 Omnifone employees now work for Apple according to various LinkedIn profiles, and a source that spoke to TechCrunch says Apple bought "select technology" from Omnifone. The purchase is not considered a full acquisition, however, and according to our original source, it did not involve Omnifone's patent portfolio. There was actually speculation that Apple "bought out" or "likely acquired" key assets from Omnifone in July of this year, after a report from Omnifone's bankruptcy administrators noted that it had found a buyer for parts of the company for $10 million. The rumor at the time was that buyer was Apple. Those acquisition reports, however, were discredited fairly swiftly. But fast forward just one month later, and it looks like at least parts of it was true.Omnifone operated a cloud platform powering its own MusicStation service and serving as the backbone for several music services launched through partnerships with mobile carriers like LG, Samsung, Vodafone, BlackBerry, Sony, and more. Omnifone, for example, powered Samsung's now-defunct Milk music service in certain locations and it was licensed by PonoMusic to power the PonoMusic Store. Many of the former Omnifone employees are now working as software engineers at Apple, presumably focusing on areas like iTunes and Apple

Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup Tuplejump

Apple recently acquired its third machine learning company since 2015, purchasing India-based company Tuplejump, reports TechCrunch. Tuplejump focused on simplifying data management techniques and creating tools to make it easy to deal with large quantities of data. From an archive of the now-defunct Tuplejump website:A few years ago people realised that the volume of data that businesses generate was becoming unwieldy. A new set of technologies to handle this huge amounts of data cropped up. We were one of the early adopters of these 'big-data' technologies. Having helped Fortune 500 companies adopt these technologies we quickly realised how complicated they were and how much simpler they could get. Thus started our quest to simplify data management technologies and make them extremely simple to use. We are building technology that is simple to use, scalable and will allow people to ask difficult questions on huge datasets.According to TechCrunch, Apple purchased Tuplejump for its "FiloDB" open source project designed to use machine learning concepts and analytics on massive amounts of data in realtime. It appears FiloDB will continue on as an open source project. Apple confirmed the acquisition of Tuplejump with its standard statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Other recent machine learning acquisitions include Perceptio and Turi. Apple is employing machine learning techniques across its operating system, using the technology for features like object and facial recognition

Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Recording Platform 'Gliimpse'

Apple has acquired personal health and wellness startup Gliimpse, continuing its push into the health and fitness landscape that it began focusing on with the launch of the Apple Watch. The company made the acquisition earlier in the year, according to Fast Company, but Apple has now confirmed the purchase with its usual response: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Gliimpse is a personal health platform that collects various fitness-related pieces of data for its users "to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data" at different stages of their personal journey. The company was funded by entrepreneur Anil Sethi and was founded in 2013, following Sethi's inspiration to create an easy way to track health data as he watched his sister battle breast cancer. Gliimpse™ began with a simple idea – everyone should be able to manage their health records, and share them securely with those they trust. Currently in stealth, Gliimpse is healthcare’s platform for building patient-centric apps. By unlocking hospital silos, we aggregate fragmented data into Medicare mandated patient summaries. Gliimpse is your personal health history, in the palm of your hands. As seen on the company's website, Gliimpse also lets users make daily journal entries to chronicle their emotional state of mind, track lab results, record levels of pain to inform a physician, and other privacy features that ensure each user's data stays secure. These features mark Gliimpse as a more healthcare-focused

Apple Acquires Machine Learning and AI Startup Turi

Apple recently purchased Seattle-based machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi, reports GeekWire. Apple is said to have paid around $200 million to acquire the company, which was known as "Dato" until earlier this month. Turi is designed to help developers build apps with artificial intelligence capabilities that automatically scale. It has developed the Turi Machine Learning Platform, GraphLab Create, and Turi Predictive Services, used for functions like recommendations, fraud detection, sentiment analysis, and more. Turi toolkits simplify development of machine learning models. Each incorporates automatic feature engineering, model selection, and machine learning visualizations specific to the application. There is no faster way to build performant models.Citing people familiar with the acquisition, GeekWire says Turi employees will remain in the Seattle area, where Apple has been establishing a presence over the past few years. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard purchase statement it gives to media outlets: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." It is not known what Apple will do with Turi's technology, but Apple has made several AI-related purchases in recent months including VocalIQ, Perceptio, and Emotient.

Apple Likely Acquired Cloud-Based Music Provider Omnifone [Updated]

One of Apple's latest acquisitions appears to be cloud-based music provider and Omnifone, according to an inside source that shared knowledge of the purchase with MacRumors. Earlier this month, a Music Ally report suggested UK-based Omnifone's tech business and assets had been purchased by a mystery buyer for $10 million, and it seems that buyer is Apple. According to documents covering the sale, Omnifone's alluring patent portfolio was not purchased by Apple, nor were debts or investments, but terms included a "royalty bearing license" that Omnifone says will help it determine the value of its full range of patents. Omnifone has a number of patents relating to downloading music, digital rights management, and generating recommendations that are potentially appealing to streaming music companies. Omnifone operated a cloud platform powering its own MusicStation service and serving as the backbone for music services launched through partnerships with mobile carriers like LG, Samsung, Vodafone, BlackBerry, Sony, and more. Omnifone, for example, powered Samsung's Milk music service in certain locations and it was licensed by PonoMusic to power the PonoMusic Store, which is temporarily unavailable as of today following Apple's purchase of Omnifone. Following its acquisition, Omnifone has abruptly ended all of its partnerships.One of our key infrastructure partners - Omnifone - has recently been acquired by a large company. An impact of this purchase is that all Omnifone's supply relationships are being terminated, effectively immediately. Omnifone has been the

Apple Acquired Firmware Security Company LegbaCore Last November

Apple acquired firmware security company LegbaCore in November 2015, according to security researcher Trammell Hudson, who revealed the acquisition in his presentation at the 32C3 conference in December. LegbaCore's goal, according to founder Xeno Kovah, is "to help build systems that are as secure as we know how to make." In November, Kovah and fellow LegbaCore founder Corey Kallenberg revealed that they had joined Apple as full-time employees. Just a couple days before that, LegbaCore's website announced that it would "not be accepting any new customer engagements", noting that the website would remain up "to serve as a reference for LegbaCore's past work." LegbaCore had collaborated with Hudson on Thunderstrike 2, the first firmware worm to affect Mac computers. The malware is impossible to remove, resistant to both firmware and software updates. LegbaCore and Hudson had alerted Apple to Thunderstrike 2's vulnerabilities and Apple began work on fixes, issuing one in June 2015. On Twitter, Kovah said that Apple began discussions with LegbaCore after the consultancy's presentation in summer 2015. It soon became clear to Kovah and Kallenberg that Apple had "some *very* interesting and highly impactful work" that the two could participate in. They were eventually convinced to wind down LegbaCore's existing contracts and begin work at Apple. What did Apple hire us to do? We can’t say. :) Well, we can probably say something like “low level security” (I don’t know our job titles)— Xeno Kovah (@XenoKovah) November 10, 2015 While LegbaCore is a security consultancy

Apple Has Secret Team Working on Virtual Reality Headset

Apple has expanded its research efforts in virtual and augmented reality, building out a large team that is experimenting with headsets and other technologies, reports Financial Times in a detailed post on the company's virtual reality work that covers recent hires and acquisitions. Hundreds of employees are part of a "secret research unit" exploring AR and VR, with the team consisting of experts hired through acquisitions and poached from Microsoft and Lytro, the company that developed the Immerge, a Light Field power camera able to blend live action and computer graphics for a live action VR experience. Apple has also hired Doug Bowman, said to be one of the leading virtual reality experts in the United States. In addition to recent AR/VR-related acquisitions Metaio, Faceshift, and Emotient, Apple has also just purchased Flyby Media, a startup that worked on augmented reality technologies. Flyby Media created an app that worked with Google's "Project Tango" smartphone with 3D sensors, allowing messages to be attached to real world objects that were then viewable by one of Google's devices. Most notably, Apple's AR/VR team is said to have built prototype virtual reality headsets that are similar to the Oculus Rift and the Hololens from Microsoft. Multiple prototypes of "possible headset configurations" have been created in recent months, with Apple's interest reportedly inspired by the Oculus Rift. It is not clear if and when Apple's work on a headset prototype will make it past the development stage into an actual product, and the company often secretly

Apple Acquires Education Analytics Company LearnSprout

Apple has purchased education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. LearnSprout is a company that develops software for schools and teachers to track student performance and other metrics. Apple will likely use its technology to build out its classroom tools to encourage schools to adopt iPads and other Apple products. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard statement it gives on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." According to its website, LearnSprout software is already used in more than 2,500 schools across the United States. It aggregates all student grades across the school, letting teachers and administrators hone in on students that may need more help. LearnSprout aims to allow schools to analyze collected data, discovering trends on attendance, college readiness, student health, and more. To combat waning iPad sales, Apple has been making an effort to make the tablet more appealing to educational customers. In iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a wealth of new education-oriented tools, including shared iPads for students, a dedicated Classroom app that allows teachers to guide students through app-based lessons, an Apple School Manager for easily managing student accounts and courses, and new Apple ID creation and management options for

Apple Acquires Artificial Intelligence Startup Perceptio

Apple has purchased Perceptio, a small startup focused on artificial intelligence, reports Bloomberg. Founded by Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone, Perceptio was developing technology that would let smartphone companies create advanced artificial intelligence systems "without needing to share as much user data" in the cloud. Perceptio's goals were to develop techniques to run AI image-classification systems on smartphones, without having to draw from large external repositories of data. That fits Apple's strategy of trying to minimize its usage of customer data and do as much processing as possible on the device.According to Bloomberg, both Stone and Pinto are established artificial intelligence researchers who specialize in creating image-recognition systems using deep learning. There's little information available about Perceptio, but Re/code profiled the company last year. The duo were working on privacy-based artificial intelligence, figuring out how to run complex neural network algorithms on smartphones. Before being acquired by Apple, they were working on facial recognition technology and had released an unrelated video sharing app called Smoothie. Apple confirmed the purchase with its standard acquisition statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Apple's Siri personal assistant has lagged behind competing services like Google Now and Microsoft Cortana because of Apple's strict privacy policies and its reluctance to collect and utilize user data. It's possible the purchase of

Apple Acquires Speech Technology Startup VocalIQ

Apple has purchased VocalIQ, a startup located in the United Kingdom that has developed a natural language API to allow computers and people to have a more natural dialogue, reports Financial Times. According to VocalIQ's website, the company has developed a self-learning dialogue API built on 10 years of natural language research, belief tracking, decision making, and message generation. It's not always clear how Apple uses the technology from companies that it purchases, but with this acquisition, it's likely Apple will use the API to improve its voice-based personal assistant, Siri. Financial Times also believes Apple could use the technology for its upcoming car project, as VocalIQ specialized in in-car applications among other things. While VocalIQ's speech processing and machine learning technology could be incorporated into devices from wearables to the connected home, the company was particularly focused on in-car applications. This included a collaboration with General Motors. In a blog earlier this year, VocalIQ described how a "conversational voice-dialog system" in a car's navigation system could prevent drivers from becoming distracted by looking at screens. Its "self- learning" technology allows "real conversation between human and the internet of things", VocalIQ wrote.VocalIQ has criticized Siri in a past blog post, calling the virtual assistant a "toy" unable to understand context. The difference between VocalIQ's system and traditional speech-recognition services like Siri and Cortana is its ability to learn. The reason for this state of affairs

Apple Acquires Mapping Visualization Startup Mapsense

Apple has purchased mapping startup Mapsense, reports Re/code. Mapsense is a San Francisco-based startup that's able to sort through massive geotagged datasets to create quick geographical visualizations of location-based data points that can be embedded into apps. According to its website, Mapsense built a cloud-based high-speed mapping engine that could ingest and index huge amounts of data with "lightning fast" search and filtering and simple visual analysis tools. There are over 10 billion devices on the planet streaming location data on a daily basis. While collecting location data has become mainstream, the traditional tools to visualize, understand, and harness it have been hampered by the speed and scale of this massive and complex new datasource. Mapsense's platform and developer tools help organizations quickly ingest and analyze billions of rows of location data to make more intelligent, locally targeted business decisions across the organization.Apple is said to have paid between $25 and $30 million for Mapsense, and its 12-person team will join Apple. Apple confirmed the acquisition to Re/code with its standard acquisition statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." It is not clear what Apple will use the Mapsense technology for, but this is just one of a long line of mapping companies Apple has purchased to improve its Maps app. Over the past several years, Apple has purchased companies like HopStop, Coherent Navigation, Locationary, WifiSLAM, Embark, and Broadmap.

Apple Purchases Augmented Reality Startup Metaio

Apple recently acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, reports TechCrunch. According to the company's website, Metaio is a "pioneer in augmented reality and computer vision" that built the Metaio Creator, an augmented reality authoring tool. With the Creator, users could create augmented reality scenarios "within minutes." Metaio has stopped taking new customers and a shareholder document concerning the transferring of shares has confirmed that it was purchased by Apple. Apple also provided TechCrunch with its standard acquisition confirmation statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Metaio's augmented reality tools have been used by several companies to create interactive experiences. Ferarri, for example, created an augmented reality showroom with Metaio, and it's been used in Berlin with historical footage to let travelers see what the scene they're viewing would have looked like when the Berlin Wall was still in place. It is not clear how Apple plans to use Metaio's technology, but there have been persistent rumors indicating Apple is interested in virtual reality and augmented reality. Based on patents, Apple has explored a video headset, a motion-sensing virtual 3D interface for iOS devices, and 3D "hyper-reality" displays. It's possible that Apple could use Metaio's AR creation tools to introduce unique features to Maps and other apps. A 2014 rumor suggested Apple was considering adding augmented reality features to Maps, and a more recent rumor points towards

Apple Appears to Have Acquired GPS Firm Coherent Navigation [Confirmed]

In one of its latest efforts to bolster its mapping capabilities, Apple appears to have acquired Coherent Navigation, a Bay Area GPS-related firm founded in 2008 by engineers from Stanford and Cornell. One of Coherent Navigation's areas of focus was High Integrity GPS ("iGPS"), a system that combines signals from the traditional mid-earth orbit GPS satellites with those from the low-earth satellites of voice and data provider Iridium to offer greater accuracy and precision, higher signal integrity, and greater jam resistance. Iridium touts iGPS as having the potential to provide location information accurate to within centimeters. A number of Coherent's key employees recently began working for Apple, including tech veteran and CEO Paul Lego in January and co-founders William Bencze and Brent Ledvina as of last month. Coherent's website has also been taken offline, but on April 30 the name servers for the domain were updated to point to Apple's servers. It is unclear exactly what the Coherent Navigation team is working on at Apple and whether there was a specific technology Apple was interested in or if it simply wanted to apply the expertise of Coherent's employees to its own projects. Lego simply notes that he is now a member of Apple's Maps team, while Ledvina and Bencze are working in similar location engineering roles. Coherent Navigation would be just the latest in a long string of mapping-related acquisitions Apple has made over the last several years, including the developers behind Pin Drop, Locationary, WifiSLAM, Hopstop, Embark, and Broadmap. Apple

A Look at LinX Camera Technology That Could Appear in Future iOS Devices

Apple's recent acquisition of LinX Imaging is one of the company's more exciting acquisitions in the last several months, as the technology being developed by LinX could lead to some significant improvements in camera quality in future iOS devices. Given the significance of the purchase, we wanted to take a deeper look at LinX's technology and what it could do for future iPhone photography. No More Protruding Camera LinX specializes in multi-aperture cameras for mobile devices, which offer several benefits over single aperture cameras, including the ability to pack impressive image quality in a smaller size. With a multi-aperture camera, LinX is able to take advantage of several smaller sensors rather than one large sensor, preventing the camera from needing a longer lens. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were equipped with protruding lenses so Apple didn't have to sacrifice image quality for thinness, but it's possible Apple could shrink the length of the camera in future iOS devices with LinX technology, resulting in a flush rear exterior. According to LinX, the use of multiple sensors over a single large sensor let it shrink the height of its camera device by a factor of 1.4 to 2. Comparatively, one of LinX's dual-aperture cameras was described by the company as "significantly" thinner than the iPhone 5s camera and able to "fit in a device thinner than the iPhone." SLR Image Quality LinX announced the launch of its most recent mobile-ready multi-aperture camera in June of last year, and in documentation [PDF], the company highlighted the many ways in

Apple Acquires Israeli Camera Tech Company LinX Imaging for ~$20 Million

Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. LinX specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it's possible that Apple will use the company's technology in upcoming iOS devices. Last year, LinX announced the launch of miniature multi-aperture cameras half the height of standard mobile cameras with the ability to create "stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps" for SLR image quality without the bulk of an SLR camera. The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end. Device makers are striving to differentiate using imaging capabilities but the pixel size race has ended and next generation cameras do not reveal any dramatic improvements. LinX cameras revolutionize mobile photography and broaden the usability span and user experience, allowing us to leave our SLRs at home. The engineers at LinX have solved all problems associated with combining multiple images captured from different points in space such as registration errors and occlusion related artifacts which are seen on competing technologies.LinX's technology uses software to extract depth information for each pixel to create a depth map for that can also be used for 3D image reconstruction. LinX's website is now defunct, but the company offered products with two, three, and four camera arrays in multiple configurations and sizes. Its most recent technology was downscaled enough to be ready for use in mobile devices. LinX technology includes several other

Apple Acquired Keyboard Startup 'Dryft' in 2014

Over the last few weeks, several previously unknown Apple acquisitions have surfaced. In March, Bloomberg shared news of the company's purchase of data analytics firm Acunu, and earlier this week, TechCrunch reported that Apple had acquired search technology startup Ottocat in 2013. TechCrunch has now shared news of another acquisition that happened in 2014 -- the purchase of Dryft, a startup that specialized in creating keyboard apps. Dryft chief technology officer Randy Marsden, who also co-founded Swype, is listed as an "iOS Keyboard Manager" that joined Apple in September of 2014, suggesting the acquisition may have occurred around that date. Dryft's technology was a keyboard that appeared only on the screen when a user placed a finger on the display, and as described by TechCrunch, it's "essentially a keyboard for tablets that tracks your fingers' movements," meaning it appears wherever your fingers are placed on the screen. It is not clear if Apple plans to incorporate this specific technology into iOS or if it made the purchase of Dryft to acquire the company's employees to work on other keyboard features. As of iOS 8, Apple's operating system supports keyboards created by third-party developers, but the company has continued work on its own keyboard. iOS 8 brought keyboard improvements like QuickType, which offers word predictions to speed up typing. Apple confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch with its standard purchase statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or

Explore Feature in App Store Powered by 'Ottocat' Technology Apple Acquired in 2013

While most Apple acquisitions become public knowledge shortly after they happen, there are acquisitions that go largely under the radar until months or years afterwards. TechCrunch has recently learned of one such acquisition, which may have happened in 2013. Apple is said to have purchased Ottocat, a small startup specializing in search technology. Ottocat's technology is said to be behind the "Explore" app discovery function in the App Store. The Explore tab in the iOS App Store lets users find apps in different categories plus nearby apps. TechCrunch has learned that Apple quietly bought a startup called Ottocat some time ago, which had developed a system to organize and surface apps on the app store based on "nested" categories of increasing specificity. A version of that system now powers the "explore" tab in Apple's app store.According to TechCrunch, though there's little evidence on LinkedIn to suggest the acquisition happened, Ottocat co-founder Edwin Cooper was the author of a patent that was granted to Apple, which Cooper appears to have filed as an Apple employee. The patent, "System and Method for Divisive Textual Clustering by Label Selection Using Variant-Weighted TFDIF," which is related to the App Store's explore feature. TechCrunch has some information on how Ottocat worked, explaining that its technology aimed to introduce categories for better app discovery to assist users looking to find apps in specific areas when they didn't have an app in mind to search for, which sounds very similar to what the Explore feature in the App Store does. Ottoc

Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu

Just a day after Apple acquired database company FoundationDB, Bloomberg reveals Apple had previously acquired U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu. The acquisition appeared to have happened in late 2013. The purchase of the Vienna, Virginia-based software maker follows a deal for closely held Acunu Ltd., a U.K.-based data analysis company, Apple said.Acunu creates technology that provides analytics on databases, and its technology can be used in conjunction with other tools, improving their performance. Bloomberg notes the company's tools work well with free Cassandra databases, which Apple runs on several thousand computers. It's likely that the Acunu acquisition will be used for iCloud and its various services, like iTunes Radio, the upcoming reimagined Beats Music streaming service and Apple's over-the-air TV service. Acunu Chief Technology Officer Tim Moreton began working in Apple's iCloud division in December 2013, and other Acunu employees made the jump to the Cupertino company in early

Apple Acquires 'Rock-Solid High-Performance' Database Company FoundationDB

Apple has acquired database company FoundationDB, reports TechCrunch. FoundationDB is a company that "develops scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models." A notice on the company's site says that it has ceased to offer downloads after deciding to "evolve [the] company mission." According to TechCrunch, FoundationDB may have been an attractive purchase for Apple due to its ability to handle ACID-compliant transactions quickly and its strong scalability. A company blog post suggested it could achieve 54 billion writes per hour at a cost-per-write of 3 nanodollars. FoundationDB's attractiveness came in the speed at which it handled ACID-compliant transactions and coupled that with strong scalability. FoundationDB hosted a booth at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, where we first wrote about its approach to a modern NoSQL database and its 'NoSQL, YesACID' motto. FoundationDB's latest engine, which was covered by TC Columnist Jon Evans late last year, scaled up 14.4 million random writes per second.TechCrunch describes FoundationDB as a "fast, affordable and durable database company" that may have been acquired to boost Apple's server-side technologies for the App Store, iTunes Connect, iTunes in the Cloud, or another service. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard statement that it gives on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or

Apple Acquires Popular Instrument and Effect Plug-In Maker Camel Audio [Updated]

Apple appears to have acquired popular music plug-in and effect maker Camel Audio, based on information found on corporate registry site Companies House [PDF]. Camel Audio's address has been updated to 100 New Bridge Street, which is Apple's London address, and the company's sole director is now listed as Apple lawyer Heather Joy Morrison, suggesting the company is in the possession of Apple. Camel Audio is known for its range of plug-ins, synthesizers, effects, and sound libraries, which were available via the company's Alchemy software. Previously available for $249, Alchemy included more than 1000 sounds, 5.5GB worth of samples, a powerful additive resynthesis engine, spectral resynthesis, a virtual analog synthesizer, and more. Its powerful engine was highly useful to those who liked to create and manipulate audio for unique sounds. Camel Audio first shut its doors on January 8, 2015, removing all access to its software from its website. At the time, the company did not divulge why it had suddenly ceased selling its content, but Camel Audio fans speculated about a potential takeover.We would like to thank you for the support we've received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries. Camel Audio's plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015. We recommend you download all of your purchases and back them up so that you can continue to use them (Instructions: How to