Apple’s latest acquisition could revolutionize iPhone camera

By

Get ready for a major camera upgrade for the iPhone 6s.
What tech advances will the next iPhone camera bring? Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Apple is looking to ramp up its camera technology with the acquisition of Israeli company LinX.

The two companies reached a deal that will see Apple paying about $20 million for the startup, but if the company’s multi-aperture cameras are actually as stunning as advertised, future iPhones could gain SLR-quality images.

LinX camera modules. Photo: LinX Imaging
LinX camera modules. Photo: LinX Imaging

News of Apple’s acquisition was first reported this afternoon by Dow Jones, and the company later confirmed the report to The Wall Street Journal, saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Looking at the young Israeli company’s image sensors, it’s not hard to see why Apple would be interested. Last June, LinX unveiled its first multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices. LinX’s cameras are half the height of a standard mobile camera, but capture better color and produce high-quality, low-noise imagery, even in low light.

Rather than chasing pixels, LinX says its ultimate goal is to let us ditch our DSLRs. LinX’s impressive pictures are made possible by replacing larger sensors with multiple cameras. Its products include arrays of two, three or four cameras on a system.

By swapping one large sensor with multiple smaller ones, the company says its cameras are three times more sensitive to light. Low-light performance seems to be one of the biggest benefits, allowing for fast exposures with indoor lighting and without motion blur.