Apple Buys UK-Based Company 'Spectral Edge' to Bolster iPhone's Photographic Capabilities

Apple has purchased UK-based photography company Spectral Edge, reports Bloomberg. The Spectral Edge website is now defunct, but the company had developed a mathematical technique for improving photographic imagery in real-time.

Created in 2014 from academic research at the University of East Anglia, Spectral Edge's algorithm is able to enhance low-light smartphone images, something that could be potentially useful for Night Mode and other photographic capabilities in future iPhones.

iphone11procameradesign trans
Spectral Edge's technology captures an infrared shot and then blends it with a standard photo to make images crisper and to improve color accuracy. Bloomberg suggests that Apple could use Spectral Edge's machine learning techniques to further improve the quality of iPhone photos.

In court filings, Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood has been named a director of Spectral Edge, with other advisors and board members now terminated. According to Bloomberg, the documents indicate that Apple is now in control of the company.

There is no word on what Apple paid for Spectral Edge, and Apple did not respond to Bloomberg's requests for comment.

Top Rated Comments

b0fh Avatar
24 months ago

Even if it's all software, you know Apple will tell us we need some future A-series CPU to take advantage of this new tech
You *DID* read the article, where they mentioned RGB-IR sensors, right? The whole article was about using IR to help make better pictures... And I don't think the current cameras have IR sensors in them...


On the smartphone front, Thomas says the company is waiting for consumer hardware to catch up — noting that RGB-IR sensors “haven’t yet begun to deploy on smartphones on a great scale”.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lostczech Avatar
24 months ago
Even if it's all software, you know Apple will tell us we need some future A-series CPU to take advantage of this new tech
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDento Avatar
24 months ago
The iPhone might be very thin compared to a dedicated camera, but there is always a "room" for improvement when it comes to software and mathematical voodoo.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakewilk Avatar
24 months ago

Even if it's all software, you know Apple will tell us we need some future A-series CPU to take advantage of this new tech
The iphone 11 pro uses a TON of horsepower to run the camera app with all the computation going on behind the scenes. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they did need more headroom to fit a whole extra layer in to keep the UX from becoming choppy and laggy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
24 months ago
Why are people so into improving the camera quality?
Because they can. Because iPhone cameras have not yet caught up to DSLRs, but continue to make progress. Because not everyone uses their iPhone camera just for instagram posts.

Every pic I've taken of my nieces growing up has been with an iPhone camera, because that's what I had with me at the time (I don't generally carry around a larger camera day-to-day). They'll never be that age again, so I'd like the best pics of them possible. And the pics from my iPhone 8 now are objectively better than the ones my iPhone 6 used to take (which were better than the 5 and 4 before it).

The first digital cameras took images we wouldn't want to use for thumbnails these days, but they were the best available at the time. Someday we'll look back at the images we're taking today and we'll think, "that was a great time, but those images are so coarse and grainy, I wish we had better pictures of that magical moment". So, the constant striving for better camera quality.

(And, yeah, a huge percentage of images taken are throwaways that don't need super quality - but you never know until some time later which were the ones that really matter.)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alpi123 Avatar
24 months ago
Got curious and found a video about the technique they use for the low light shots. Might be similar to what Apple is planning to do.

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
twitterqrcode

Twitter Introduces QR Codes for Sharing and Following Accounts

Wednesday November 16, 2016 4:13 pm PST by
Twitter today introduced Snapchat-style QR codes, which are designed to make it easier to find and follow friends on the social network. Each Twitter QR code is unique to an individual Twitter user, so when scanned, it'll bring up the person's account. To access your Twitter QR code, you'll need the official Twitter app for iOS. In the app, go to your profile, tap on the gear icon, and select...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of macOS Monterey to Developers

Monday August 30, 2021 1:11 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth developer beta of macOS Monterey, the newest version of the macOS operating system. The sixth beta comes three weeks after Apple released the fifth macOS Monterey beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...