Apple acquisition


'Apple acquisition' Articles

Apple's Acquisition of AR Startup Leap Motion Fell Through Twice, Due to 'Eccentric' Founders and Poor Management

A new article by Business Insider today takes a look into failed talks that occurred between Apple and startup Leap Motion, which the Cupertino company tried to acquire twice in less than five years. Leap Motion is a company that focuses on making advances in the fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, and hand tracking technology. According to multiple unnamed insiders, the most recent deal was nearing completion in spring 2018 before poor management, "swirling negatives," and "eccentric behavior" of Leap Motion's young co-founders Michael Buckwald and David Holz halted the talks. Prior to that, in 2013 the first meeting was held between the two companies and things reportedly went very poorly after Holz -- then 24 years old -- said he had no interest in joining Apple. Sources say Holz was insulting to Apple's staff, told the company representatives that Apple was no longer innovative, its technology "sucked," and discussed the ways that Google's Android was better than iOS. During this time, Apple was said to have been mainly interested in Leap Motion's team to help work on its own AR and gesture-based projects. Despite this poor first meeting, Apple continued to express interest in acquiring Leap Motion in the ensuing years, particularly as augmented reality and virtual reality technologies began to be more mainstream. Some of Leap Motion's original employees even left the company to work for Apple over the years, and are now helping with Apple's various AR projects, some former Leap Motion employees said. The latest rumors point towards Apple

Shazam Informing Users About Apple Acquisition, Account Data Now Aligned With Apple's Privacy Policy

Nearly one year after Apple announced its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, and one month since the acquisition was completed, Shazam has now begun informing users of Apple's plans with their data (via iGeneration). You can see the new splash screen if you have a Shazam account and open up the app. If you've created a Shazam account in the past, which allows you to share Shazams between devices, this data will now move to Apple and fall under the protection of Apple's Privacy Policy. This has been expected since Apple completed the acquisition, but now we're one step closer to Apple's overhaul of Shazam, which will remove all ads from the app. Shazam explains that if you don't want your data to be automatically transferred, you can delete your Shazam account within the app. This will erase all personal data associated with Shazam, including your email address and connected Facebook account. Shazams will remain in the app but they will no longer sync between devices and they will be gone if you delete and reinstall Shazam. The company points out that analytics logs and how you used Shazam won't be erased even if you delete your account, but the logs will no longer be personally identifiable at that time. If you never created a Shazam account and continue to use Shazam under Apple's ownership, any Shazams recorded will not be associated with you. At the time of the acquisition announcement, Apple said that it was "thrilled" for the Shazam team to be joining Apple. Down the line, the company hinted that users can expect more integration with Apple

Axios: Apple Has Acquired Asaii, a Music Analytics Platform 'Able to Find the Next Justin Bieber' [Update: No]

Apple has acquired San Francisco-based music analytics startup Asaii, according to unnamed sources cited by Axios. The deal, which has not been confirmed by Apple, was reportedly worth less than $100 million. Asaii built tools that allowed music labels to discover, track, and manage artists using machine learning. The platform pulled data from social networks and streaming music services, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, to find hidden talent. Asaii offered two products specifically: a music management dashboard for A&R representatives to quickly scout and manage talent, and an API for music services to integrate a recommendation engine into their platforms. "Our machine learning powered algorithms finds artists 10 weeks before they chart," the startup's website states. "Our algorithms are able to find the next Justin Bieber, before anyone else," another page claimed. The acquisition will enable Apple to bolster its content recommendations to users, and help it compete with Spotify's efforts to work directly with smaller artists and music labels, according to the report. Apple Music and iTunes are likely to benefit from Asaii's machine learning algorithms. Asaii was founded in August 2016 by Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen, and Chris Zhang, who have collectively worked at Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, and Yelp previously. All three individuals now work on the Apple Music team at Apple, as of October 2018, according to their LinkedIn profiles. In an email to customers sh

Apple Has Acquired Danish Startup Spektral, Focused on Real-Time 'Green Screen' Technology

Apple has acquired Danish computer vision startup Spektral, according to a paywalled report from Danish newspaper Børsen. Spektral has developed a technology that can intelligently separate people and objects from their original backgrounds in photos and videos, and overlay a new background, resulting in what is called a "cutout." The solution is driven by deep neural networks and spectral graph theory. The technology can be thought of as real-time "green screen" processing powered by machine learning algorithms:Our pioneering and unique technology is based on state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision techniques. Combining deep neural networks and spectral graph theory with the computing power of modern GPUs, our engine can process images and video from the camera in real-time (60 FPS) directly on the device.The report says Apple acquired Spektral, formerly known as CloudCutout, in late 2017. Spektral co-founders Henrik Paltoft and Toke Jansen, who now lists himself as a manager of computational imaging at Apple, are said to have received 200 million Danish krone, or roughly $30 million as of today's exchange rate. Spektral's website notes that its solution makes it possible to create unique and immersive mixed reality content. Apple could incorporate the technology into the default Camera app on iPhone, or Messages, or Clips, or use the technology in bigger ways as it continues to push into augmented reality. Spektral was founded in 2014 and raised $3.3 million in venture capital prior to its acquisition by Apple, according to Crunchbase

Apple Completes Shazam Acquisition, App Will Soon Become Ad-Free

Apple today announced it has completed its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, after reaching a preliminary agreement in December. Apple says the Shazam app will soon become ad-free for all users. Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music:Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere. With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.Shazam is a popular service that can identify the names and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more, simply by listening to and deciphering whatever is playing. Shazam has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, and has been built into Siri since iOS 8. Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in a statement provided to MacRumors and other media outlets back in December:We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.Shazam issued the following

Apple Purchased Akonia Holographics, a Company That Makes Lenses for AR Glasses

Apple has purchased a startup that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses, reports Reuters. The acquisition lends further evidence to rumors suggesting Apple is developing an augmented reality headset. Akonia Holographics, the startup that Apple bought, advertises the "world's first commercially available volume holographic reflective and waveguide optics for transparent display elements in smart glasses." The displays that it makes are said to use the company's HoloMirror technology for "ultra-clear, full-color performance" to enable the "thinnest, lightest head worn displays in the world." Apple confirmed the purchase to Reuters with the statement that it uses when it makes an acquisition: "Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans." Akonia Holographics was founded in 2012 by holography scientists who focused on holographic data storage before moving on to develop displays for augmented reality glasses, according to the company's website. It's not clear when exactly Apple purchased Akonia Holographics, but sources that spoke to Reuters suggested the company had become "very quiet" over the last six months, indicating the acquisition may have been made in the first half of 2018. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple has a research unit of hundreds of employees working on AR and VR and exploring the ways the emerging technologies could be used in future Apple products. Apple is said to be exploring several prototypes, including a powerful AR/VR headset with an 8K display for each eye and a

Apple to Shut Down Texture App for Windows Following Acquisition

Following its acquisition by Apple, Texture this week announced plans to shutter its Texture magazine subscription app for Windows users at the end of June. As noted by The Verge, Texture recently sent out emails to its users letting them know that the Windows service will be discontinued on June 30th, and the company also added a notice to its website. Texture says the Windows app, which has not been updated in some time, is being shut down to "keep things working smoothly." The discontinuation of the app may have been on the horizon regardless of the acquisition by Apple based on its infrequent updates and poor reviews.Texture is an all-access pass to the world's best magazines. To keep things working smoothly, older versions of the app sometimes need to be retired. After June 30th, 2018, the Texture Windows app will no longer be available. Your Texture subscription will continue to be available on compatible phones or tablets running iOS or Android and on Fire HD tablets along with ongoing access to all the magazines you have selected as your favorites.Windows users who are losing access to Texture through the Windows platform will be able to continue to access Texture using smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android, but there will no longer be a way to read Texture magazines on a Windows PC. Apple first announced plans to acquire Texture in mid-March. At the time, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was "committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."

Apple to Acquire Digital Magazine Subscription Service Texture and Integrate Into Apple News

Apple today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire digital magazine subscription service Texture, available on iPad, iPhone, and other platforms. The deal is pending approval and financial terms were not disclosed. Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, who revealed the news at the SXSW media festival in Austin, Texas today alongside Apple's press release:We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.John Loughlin, CEO of Next Issue Media, a conglomerate of publishers and media companies which own Texture:I'm thrilled that Next Issue Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple. The Texture team and its current owners, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media, and KKR, could not be more pleased or excited with this development. We could not imagine a better home or future for the service.Texture, founded in 2010, provides unlimited access to over 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Magazines can be read on up to five devices per subscription, with the ability to download issues for offline reading. Available magazine titles include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. New issues are available alongside a searchable archive of thousands of past issues. Apple

Apple Hires a Few Dozen Employees From Silicon Valley Data Science Startup

Apple has hired several data scientists from Silicon Valley Data Science, a consulting firm that offers data engineering and data science services, reports Bloomberg. A few dozen employees from Silicon Valley Data Science joined Apple in December and January to help the company better use its data to improve its advertising efforts. According to the Silicon Valley Data Science website, the startup helped businesses improve customer retention, increase engagement, improve conversion rates, develop new revenue-generating data products, streamline operations, and more. At Apple, the team will work on ad-related analytics to bolster Apple's advertising efforts. One area of focus could be better optimizing App Store ads. Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Data Science Sanjay Mathur is one of the employees that has taken a position as Apple. His LinkedIn profile now says that he leads "strategy and analytics initiatives for a group at Apple." Several other LinkedIn profiles from former Silicon Valley Data Science employees now list data scientist positions at Apple. The company's former CTO, for example, now works on "Algorithms," while the former Head of Data Science is now Apple's "Principal Data Scientist." While the Silicon Valley Data Science website is still up, the company shut down in December and its services are no longer

Apple Acquires Canadian App Development Startup Buddybuild

Apple recently purchased Vancouver-based app startup Buddybuild, according to a blog post on the Buddybuild website (via iMore). Buddybuild's website describes the company as a "continuous integration, continuous deployment, and user feedback platform for development teams." In other words, Buddybuild offers tools for developers that are designed to let them quickly and easily build apps through GitHub, BitBucket, or GitLab. The entire Buddybuild team will be joining the Xcode engineering group at Apple to "build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community," with Buddybuild being rolled into Xcode itself. Buddybuild will continue to operate out of Vancouver, Canada, and the Buddybuild service will remain available to existing customers for building, testing, and shipping iOS apps.We're excited to share that the buddybuild team has joined the Xcode engineering group at Apple to build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community. We've always been proud to be a Canadian company, so we're also pleased that we will be staying right here in Vancouver -- a hotbed of developer and engineering talent.Though the service will remain available for current customers, the company is no longer accepting new customers. Current free starter plans and Android app development tools will be discontinued on March 1, 2018 following the

Apple Bought Augmented Reality Headset Company Vrvana

Apple recently purchased Vrvana, a company that developed an augmented reality headset called Totem, reports TechCrunch. Two sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed the acquisition, but Apple declined to comment and did not provide its usual acquisition statement. TechCrunch says Apple did not deny the story, though, and several employees who were previously with Vrvana are now with Apple. Apple is said to have paid $30 million for Vrvana, and the deal may have taken place this summer. Vrvana's website is still up and running, but social media accounts ceased updates in August. Vrvana developed a sort of mixed reality headset called Totem, which was never released. It was designed to combine both augmented and virtual reality technologies in a single headset, merging full VR capabilities with pass-through cameras to enable screen-based augmented reality features. Essentially, Totem used a set of cameras to project real world images into its built-in 1440p OLED display, a somewhat unique approach that set it apart from competing products like Microsoft's HoloLens, which uses a transparent display to combine virtual and augmented reality. With Totem's approach, much richer virtual experiences were available, as full VR objects could be combined with a real-world view. The built-in cameras were used to track the device's position in space, and additional infrared cameras were used to detect a user's hands. Several media sites were able to check out the Totem last year, and it received largely positive reviews. Totem's technology could be built into a

Apple Acquired Camera Sensor Company InVisage Earlier This Year [Updated]

Apple has reportedly acquired or at least hired some talent away from InVisage, according to the blog Image Sensors World. The report, citing two unnamed sources, claims the deal was closed in July of this year. Beyond the sources familiar with the matter, there are only subtle clues that Apple may have scooped up InVisage. Image Sensors World, for example, highlighted that InVisage is no longer listed as a current investment in the portfolios of venture capital firms Nokia Growth Partners and InterWest Partners. InVisage also removed a news page and a list of employee profiles from its website, compared to an archived version from February. Many companies acquired by Apple in the past have simplified or even removed their websites. LinkedIn lists at least six Apple employees who previously worked at InVisage, although only two joined the company this year. One employee joined Apple as a hardware engineer in July, the same month as the rumored acquisition. InVisage also filed to register a manufacturing subsidiary in June with the state of California, where the company is headquartered, but it later surrendered the request and the entity was legally dissolved in early October. InVisage, founded in 2006 and based out of Newark, California, has developed new image sensor architecture with a dedicated QuantumFilm layer that can maximize a smartphone camera's light sensing capability. The company's website says QuantumFilm pixels have over three times higher dynamic range, allowing users to capture "supremely detailed images in almost any lighting

Apple Acquires Wireless Charging Company PowerbyProxi

Apple recently purchased PowerbyProxi, a company that designs wireless power solutions, reports New Zealand website Stuff. Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio told Stuff that the PowerbyProxi team will be a "great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future." "We want to bring truly effortless charging to more places and more customers around the world," Riccio added. PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 to develop wireless charging technology that lets people charge smartphones and other devices without requiring a cord. PowerbyProxi has developed the Proxi-Module, a modular wireless power system that can adapt and integrate into a wide variety of products and situations, delivering up to 100 watts of power to devices like drones and robots. The Proxi-Module, which features a modular, waterproof design that lets it adapt to a range of use cases, is said to offer the highest power density of any solution on the market with an end to end efficiency of 91 percent, offering "unprecedented performance" with reduced power and heat losses. PowerbyProxi has also been working on the development of the Wireless Power Consortium's future Qi wireless charging standard and has received accolades and funding for its work. Apple is also a member of the Wireless Power Consortium as of February 2017. In a statement, PowerbyProxi founder Fady Mishriki said his team is "thrilled" to be joining Apple."The team and I are thrilled to join Apple. There is tremendous alignment with our values, and we are excited to continue our growth in

Apple Hires AI Team From Init.ai to Join Work on Siri

Apple this week "acqui-hired" the team from Init.ai, a startup that designed a smart assistant to allow customer service representatives to easily parse through and automate some interactions with users, reports TechCrunch. The startup focused on creating an AI with natural language processing and machine learning to analyze chat-based conversations between humans. Init.ai announced that it was shutting down its service earlier this week to join a new project.Today is an exciting day for our team. Init.ai is joining a project that touches the lives of countless people across the world. We are thrilled and excited at the new opportunities this brings us. However, this means Init.ai will discontinue its service effective December 16th 2017. While we wish to make this transition as smooth as possible, we cannot continue to operate Init.ai going forward.Apple did not purchase Init.ai and will not obtain any intellectual property nor is there an indication that Apple plans to use any existing Init.ai services. Instead, Apple has taken on the Init.ai team, who will now work on Apple's Siri personal assistant. The addition of the Init.ai team may hint at Apple's future Siri plans, with the company perhaps planning to build out more business integrations to supplement Business Chat, the iOS 11 iMessage feature that allows businesses to communicate with customers. TechCrunch says it's not entirely clear how many people from Init.ai will be transitioning to Apple, but the startup only employed six

Apple Acquires Regaind, a French Computer Vision Startup Focused on Photo and Facial Analysis

Apple has acquired Regaind, a small French artificial intelligence startup focused on photo and facial analysis, according to TechCrunch. Apple essentially confirmed the deal with its standard statement:Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.Regaind has developed a computer vision API that can extract "game-changing insights" from images, according to its website.We help businesses and developers deal with massive flows of images by using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to analyze and sort them. Your problem is often not reduced to finding a photo of a "sailboat" or of a "lion": it's also about finding the right one for your specific use, among many others. Regaind enables you to understand the content of an image, as well as to assess its technical and aesthetical values, so as to maximize your impact with high quality photos.Regaind is able to analyze the aesthetics, sharpness, exposure, colors, and other properties of photos, and use that information to boost or promote the most relevant ones in a meaningful way. Regaind's computer vision API can also detect faces in a photo, as well as the gender, age, and emotion of the people that appear. It's possible that Apple is already using this technology for facial recognition features like Animoji in the iPhone X, and there could be additional implementations to follow. Apple could use Regaind's technology to improve the Memories feature in the Photos app on iOS, for example, which already intelligently curates photos and videos based

Apple Acquires German Eye Tracking Firm SensoMotoric Instruments

Apple has almost certainly acquired German computer vision company SensoMotoric Instruments, a provider of eye tracking glasses and systems, based on evidence compiled by MacRumors. On May 2, Apple's vice president of corporate law Gene Levoff, representing Delaware-based shell company Vineyard Capital Corporation, granted power of attorney to German law firm Hiking Kühn Lüer Wojtek to represent Vineyard Capital Corporation in all business related to the acquisition of SensoMotoric Instruments. On June 16, SensoMotoric Instruments filed several documents with the German Company Register outlining new articles of incorporation. SensoMotoric's previous managing director Eberhard Schmidt was replaced by Dr. Ali Sahin, one of the German attorneys representing Vineyard Capital Corporation. Vineyard Capital Corporation is listed as having acquired all company shares of SensoMotoric Instruments. Apple takes steps to hide its acquisitions through shell companies, which essentially only exist on paper, but Levoff's signature on one of the documents is a clear giveaway that Vineyard Capital Corporation is Apple. Levoff even notarized the document in Cupertino, California, where Apple is headquartered. SensoMotoric Instruments recently updated its website, removing over a dozen pages with detailed information about its products. The website also no longer has a jobs portal, news blog, schedule of events and workshops, contact information, list of distributors and resellers, or mailing list signup form. An archived version of the website from last week indicated

Apple Acquires 'Dark Data' Machine Learning Company Lattice Data

Apple recently paid around $200 million to acquire Lattice Data, a firm that aims to turn unstructured "dark data" such as text and images into structured data that can then be handled with traditional data analysis tools. News of the acquisition comes from TechCrunch, and Apple has essentially confirmed the acquisition by issuing its standard statement on the topic. Lattice uses machine learning techniques to take mass amounts of initially unusable data and turn it into properly labeled and categorized data that can be used for AI, medical research, and more.It’s unclear who Lattice has been working with, or how Apple would intend to use the technology. Our guess is that there is an AI play here: Our source said that Lattice had been “talking to other tech companies about enhancing their AI assistants,” including Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby, and had recently spent time in South Korea.TechCrunch says the deal closed "a couple of weeks ago," with roughly 20 Lattice engineers having joined

A Look at What Apple Could Do With Beddit's Sleep Technology

Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits. The acquisition is unusual because it appears Apple plans to keep selling the Beddit hardware while collecting sleep-related data from users. For that reason, we took a look at some of the things Apple might be planning to do with this data and how it might impact future products. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site. Apple appears to have purchased Beddit for its sleep sensing technology. Beddit uses a $150 sleep monitoring device that's placed under the bottom sheet of a mattress, collecting data on everything from sleep time and efficiency to heart rate and respiration. It also tracks movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity to determine factors that might disturb sleep. Beddit's sensor uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions, a non-invasive monitoring technology that's similar to the light-based photoplethysmography the Apple Watch uses to monitor heart rate. With BCG, when the heart beats, it measures the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the

Apple Acquires 'Beddit' iPhone-Connected Sleep Monitoring System

Apple recently acquired Beddit Sleep Monitor, an app and sleep system designed to monitor daily sleep habits through the iPhone, according to an updated privacy policy posted both on the Beddit website and in the Beddit app when creating an account. A link within the app also directs to the Apple Privacy Policy. As of May 8, the Beddit privacy policy says the following:Beddit has been acquired by Apple. Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy.The Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor, which can be purchased from Apple for $150, is a thin, flexible sensor that's designed to be placed under the sheet on the top of a mattress. It collects and analyzes sleep-related data like sleep time and efficiency, heart rate, respiration, movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity. All of the data collected by the Beddit Sleep Monitor is then made available to iPhone users through an accompanying Beddit iPhone app, which provides "personalized insights" and "customizable sleep coaching" to help users improve their sleep habits. According to the Beddit website, the device uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions. When the heart beats, for example, the Beddit sensor can measure the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system. Based on the changes to the Beddit privacy policy, it appears Apple may have plans to continue selling the device and collecting health-related data from it, which could

Apple Acquires Popular Automation App Workflow

Apple has acquired well-known and popular automation app Workflow, reports TechCrunch. The deal was reportedly finalized today for an unspecified sum. Workflow, first released in 2014, is an automation tool that can essentially do anything. It allows users to create a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks like creating GIFs from a series of photos, pulling images from a web page, translating an article, posting photos to multiple social networks at once, calculating a tip, and tons more. It is equipped with a built-in Gallery, which allows people to quickly find and use a wide range of automation tasks, and it can be used to create custom automations. Apple is purchasing the Workflow app and the Workflow team, including Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, and Nick Frey, will be joining the company."We are thrilled to be joining Apple," said Weinstein in a statement. "We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store. We can't wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world.Apple confirmed the acquisition of Workflow, which notably received an Apple Design Award in 2015 for its excellent accessibility features, likely one of the reasons behind the purchase. Typically apps acquired from Apple disappear from the App Store, but Workflow will remain available and will be made free starting later today. The Gallery will continue to be updated on a regular