Apple acquisition


'Apple acquisition' Articles Page 2

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 InVisage also removed a news page and a list of employee profiles from its website, compared to an archived version from February.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

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.