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Apple acquires Spectral Edge Ltd., may integrate AI photo enhancement tech in iPhone cameras

Future iPhone photos could get much better thanks to AI. (Image via Apple)
Future iPhone photos could get much better thanks to AI. (Image via Apple)
Apple recently acquired control of U.K. startup Spectral Edge Ltd., a company that developer AI-based photo processing software. The software merges an infrared picture with a traditional photograph to sharpen the image and improve color balance. Apple may use this technology in future iPhones, though in its current state, it relies on infrared cameras.

Apple’s iPhone takes some of the best smartphone photos in the world, and that’s mostly due to Apple’s excellent processing software. Those photos may get even better next year. Apple recently acquired Spectral Edge Ltd., a U.K.-based startup that developed AI-powered image processing software.

Spectral Edge’s software uses machine learning to sharpen photos and rebalance colors on the fly. It accomplishes this by melding an additional infrared picture with the standard color photo.

Filings made last week in the United Kingdom showed that Apple’s corporate lawyer Peter Denwood was made a director of Spectral Edge Ltd. The same filing revealed that Apple now controls Spectral Edge, meaning it likely now has access to Spectral’s technology and infrastructure.

Apple may use some of Spectral’s software in upcoming iPhones, but it’s likely to be a different spin on the current AI system. Spectral’s current product relies on infrared photography as well as traditional, meaning Apple would need to incorporate an infrared camera into an iPhone to use Spectral’s tech in its current state.

However, it wouldn’t be too far a leap for Apple to take Spectral’s software and tweak it for a more “traditional” smartphone camera setup. Still, given that Apple has recently shown a penchant for cramming cameras onto the back of the iPhone, it may not be out of the question to see an infrared sensor on the iPhone in a few years.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > Apple acquires Spectral Edge Ltd., may integrate AI photo enhancement tech in iPhone cameras
Sam Medley, 2019-12-14 (Update: 2019-12-14)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.