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Apple has acquired Spektral, a Danish computer vision startup, for augmented reality technology

Screen-Shot-2018-10-11-at-11.11.27Apple has purchased Spektral, a computer vision company based out of Denmark that has worked on segmentation technology, a more efficient way to “cut out” figures from their backgrounds in digital images and videos, reportedly for over $30 million.

This type of technology can be used, for example, to make quicker and more accurate/realistic cut-out images in augmented reality environments, but also for more standard applications like school photos. That was actually the first market the startup targeted, in 2015, although it appeared to shift strategy after that to build up IP and make deeper inroads into video. You can see a demo of how its technology works at the bottom of this post.

Spectral’s first application may have been the fairly retro world of school pictures, but what’s most notable here is what Spektral might contribute to Apple’s imaging business. That could be for applications that Apple has yet to launch, but also to improve the quality of those that are already in the market, from legacy products like PhotoBooth through to ARKit, the company’s platform for mobile development.

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