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.

linx_cameras

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 improvements Apple could potentially take advantage of, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, better sensitivity to light, and greatly improved image quality in low light.

There have been rumors suggesting Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will offer much improved dual-lens camera technology with image quality on par with SLR cameras, which could be made possible through mobile camera advancements like those LinX Imaging has worked on.

Camera improvements and iPhone photography have always been important to Apple, and its iOS devices routinely offer highly competitive picture taking capabilities that often outclass devices from competing companies. In the past, major improvements to camera technology have come in "S" release years, so it is likely we will see at least some boost in picture quality in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Apple confirmed the purchase of LinX Imaging with its standard acquisition statement, given to The Wall Street Journal: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Albright Avatar
100 months ago
So if you make an app to apply filters to and share smartphone photos, that's worth $1 billion, but if you make the actual hardware to take those photos, that's only worth $20 million.

Sometimes I really hate this industry.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
100 months ago
So if you make an app to apply filters to and share smartphone photos, that's worth $1 billion, but if you make the actual hardware to take those photos, that's only worth $20 million.

Sometimes I really hate this industry.

It's more like, if you make an app that has 50 million registered users that create their own content, most of which compulsively check for new content several times per day, translating into 50 million sets of eyeballs for ads, it's worth $1 billion; but if you make comoditized hardware that can be ripped off by any competitor because patents are becoming worthless, that's only worth $20 million.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
quickcalibre Avatar
100 months ago
Well love all camera improvements. So really good news. :D
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thelookingglass Avatar
100 months ago
SLR quality from an iPhone would be flat out terrific. The iPhone already takes incredible pictures as is. The only thing I want from it is good depth of field on certain shots.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
100 months ago
... with image quality on par with SLR cameras, ...

Sorry, but the reason you won't get "image quality on par with SLR cameras" isn't because of the sensors or resolution, it's because of the lenses. The quality, quantity, and size of glass you can fit into a phone or compact camera is the bottleneck and the reason phones and compacts still haven't, and probably won't replace SLR-sized camera platforms for a loooooong time for professional quality images.

You can pack as many sensors as you want at resolutions that are stupid-high, but all you're capturing is as good as what's coming through the "glass".
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rp2011 Avatar
100 months ago
See below



if this is whats to be expected, They're still a long way off. its good. Does a good job at smoothing out the noise via software, but there are still significant image degradation issues that in no way even matches what you will get on a large sensor format camera.

9to5 Mac posted some nice examples.

Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
apple ar headset concept 1

Kuo: Apple Headset Shipments Potentially Delayed Until Second Half of 2023

Sunday December 4, 2022 7:38 am PST by
Mass shipments of Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset may be delayed until the second half of 2023 due to unspecified "software-related issues," according to the latest information shared today by tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple headset render by Ian Zelbo Kuo said mass shipments of components for the headset are still likely to begin in the first half of 2023, but he believes that mass...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 5 Exclusive Features

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:55 am PST by
While we're still around nine months away from Apple unveiling the iPhone 15 lineup, rumors already suggest that the higher-end Pro models will have even more exclusive features than usual compared to the standard models next year. There are currently at least five features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17 Bionic...
nothing phone 2

Nothing Plans to Launch Smartphone in US to Take on Apple's iPhone

Monday December 5, 2022 12:38 am PST by
UK-based tech company Nothing plans to launch a smartphone in the US to directly compete with Apple's iPhone, according to a new report out today. In an interview with CNBC, Nothing CEO Carl Pei said the startup is in "early conversations" with American cellular carriers about launching a new phone in the US, but he stopped short of naming any of the carriers or the phone model. Nothing...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...