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