Apple scoops up UK startup that could boost iPhone camera’s powers


The iPhone 11 Pro's excellent camera is about to get even better.
Photo: Apple

Future iPhone cameras could get some big upgrades thanks to the latest company Apple purchased in the U.K.

Spectral Edge, a start-up that combines image processing with machine learning to create sharper smartphone photos, has quietly been acquired by Apple, giving the iPhone a potentially huge advantage over its competitors.

Apple has made the iPhone camera an increasingly important focus as a way to differentiate itself from the competition. The company added a triple-lens camera system to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max this year. 3D depth sensors are expected to be added next year to improve augmented reality.

Spectral Edge’s special sauce

Spectral Edge developed a suite of technologies for smartphones that could easily be applied to the iPhone. The company’s tech takes an infrared image and uses AI to combine it with the standard photo to make a better image. Apple could use the tech to improve low-light photos on iPhone. It might even have some application in the Apple Car project.

Filings in the U.K. found by Bloomberg show that Apple now controls the company. Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood was named director. The rest of Spectral Edge’s board members and advisers were removed.

Although Apple hasn’t confirmed Bloomberg’s report of the acquisition, the company recently scrubbed its website of all data. You can still see the old version in the Internet Archive.



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