Apple buys motion capture firm Faceshift

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2015

Apple has acquired a Zürich, Germany-based startup FaceShift which provides a proprietary technology for real-time motion capture that was used in the latest Star Wars film and in production of a number of high-profile video games. Apple has officially confirmed the deal in a prepared statement to TechCrunch.

Speculation is rife as to how Apple might be taking advantage of such a sophisticated motion capture technology in its own products, including potentially using it to power real-time avatars for FaceTime video chats. Read More


Google acquires iPhone app-maker Fly Labs for its Photos team

By Cody Lee on Nov 6, 2015

Fly Labs, the maker of popular photo and video editing apps for iOS, announced on Friday that it’s been acquired by Google. The company’s software library includes apps like Clips, Tempo, Crop, and Fly, which made Apple’s ‘Best of the App Store’ list in 2014.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that the folks at Fly Labs will be joining the Google Photos team and plan on pulling their apps from the App Store in 3 months. As a peace offering, they have made all of their apps free with no IAPs until then. Read More


Activision Blizzard is buying Candy Crush Saga maker King Digital for $5.9 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

Renowned games publisher Activision Blizzard is purchasing King Digital, the maker of the popular Candy Crush Saga videogame series, in a transaction valued at a whooping $5.9 billion, the two companies announced Tuesday.

Activision, best-known for the World of Warcraft, Diablo and Call of Duty videogame series, said ABS Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of King for $18 in cash per share, for a total equity value of $5.9 billion. Read More


Apple acquires AI startup Perceptio

By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2015

Following news last week that Apple acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, Bloomberg reports that the company has also recently picked up AI startup Perceptio. A spokesman for Apple has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More


Apple acquires UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2015

Apple has acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, according to a report from the Financial Times. A spokesman for the Cupertino company has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More


Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015

Apple has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in tools for analyzing and visualizing location data, Recode reports. A spokesperson confirmed the buyout, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The deal is said to be worth anywhere between $25 million and $30 million, and it includes Mapsense’s 12-person team and technology. That tech includes a cloud-based tool that allows users to manipulate graphical models of maps that hold huge sums of data, and a recently launched platform for developers. Read More


Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015

Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.

Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats. Read More


Adidas buys fitness app maker Runtastic for $239 million

By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2015

Runtastic has been acquired by sportswear giant Adidas, the company’s CEO and co-founder Florian Gschwandtner announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The deal is said to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 million euros (or $239 million).

For those unfamiliar with Runtastic, it develops and maintains a number of fitness apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It has also dabbled in hardware with a GPS watch, a heart rate monitor, and the recently-released Orbit fitness tracker. Read More


Apple acquires augmented reality firm Metaio

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2015

Apple has acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, according to a recently surfaced legal document. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The filing claims that shares of Metaio were transferred over to the Cupertino firm between May 21st and 22nd, so it seems the acquisition was completed fairly recently. The company, which was essentially an offshoot of an AR project at German automaker Volkswagen, was founded in 2003. Read More


Apple acquires GPS firm Coherent Navigation

By Cody Lee on May 17, 2015

Apple appears to have quietly acquired San Francisco-based GPS firm Coherent Navigation, MacRumors reported on Sunday. Several of the company’s employees, including the CEO and co-founders, all started working for the iPhone-maker in recent months, and its domain servers were recently updated to point to Apple.

Among Coherent’s technology is something called High Integrity GPS, which offers greater accuracy and precision and higher signal integrity versus standard GPS. It accomplishes this by combining signals from both mid-earth orbiting GPS satellites low-earth satellites used by data provider Iridium for voice and data. Read More


Apple quietly purchased Dryft keyboard app last year

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

Apple quietly purchased Dryft, a startup that develops keyboard apps, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The site says that the acquisition happened sometime last year, but the financial terms of the deal are still not known.

Dryft, who TechCrunch notes was a finalist in its 2013 Disrupt startup battlefield competition, gained notoriety for its custom mobile keyboard that would only appear when the user placed their fingers on their device’s display. Read More


Apple reportedly acquired search startup Ottocat in 2013 to improve App Store discovery

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2015

Apple has quietly acquired Ottocat, reports TechCrunch, a little-known startup with some interesting search tech. The deal went down a few years ago—sometime in 2013—but its impact is still being felt today. The site believes the company’s tech is behind the App Store’s fairly new ‘Explore’ section.

There’s little evidence of the acquisition, except for a patent granted to Apple that lists Ottocat co-founder Edwin Cooper as an inventor. The patent is titled “System and Method for Divisive Textual Clustering by Label Selection Using Variant-Weighted TFIDF,” and clearly incorporates Ottocat’s tech. Read More


Samsung makes offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Samsung has recently approached BlackBerry with an acquisition offer, reports Reuters. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the outlet says that the Korean electronics giant offered as much as $7.5 billion to buy the struggling handset-maker.

Read More


Facebook acquiring web video startup QuickFire Networks

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Facebook is purchasing the San Diego, California-based web video startup QuickFire Networks for an undisclosed amount. The company announced the acquisition on its website today, saying that “key members” of its team will be joining the social networking giant as it “winds down operations.”

QuickFire is known for its propriety software tech that significantly reduces the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading its quality. The startup will help Facebook build an infrastructure capable of supporting the massive influx of video consumption it’s currently experiencing. Read More


Google buys iOS app prototyping startup RelativeWave, makes Mac app free

By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2014

Google has acquired RelativeWave, the team responsible for the popular iOS app prototyping software Form. Form is available for Mac and iOS, and allows designers and developers to create rich interactive app prototypes and run them on their iPhone or iPad.

In a note on its website today, RelativeWave announced that they would be joining Google to continue their work on the software, saying they “want to get Form in the hands of as many people as possible, and this is [their] first step in accomplishing that goal.” Read More


AT&T acquiring Mexican carrier Iusacell for $2.5 Billion

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2014

AT&T on Friday announced that it is set to acquire Mexican carrier Iusacell for a total of $2.5 billion, including debt. The two companies have entered into an agreement, which will occur once investor group Grupo Salinas completes its own ongoing acquisition of Iusacell.

The plan, AT&T says, is to expand Iusacell coverage beyond its already near-9 million subscriber base in Mexico. The carrier sees a large potential for growth in the country thanks to recent competitive-friendly changes made to wireless regulations by President Peña Nieto. Read More


Apple acquires cloud startup Union Bay Networks

By Cody Lee on Nov 3, 2014

Apple has acquired cloud networking startup Union Bay Networks, according to The Seattle Times. The company focused on “enabling the next generation of networking for cloud computing and software defined datacenters,” and seven out of nine of its former employees are said to have been hired by the Cupertino firm.

Of course, Apple hasn’t officially commented on the acquisition, but it seemingly confirmed the purchase earlier today by providing The Seattle Times its boiler plate public relations response of “Apple sometimes buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More


Apple said to have held talks with Square regarding acquisition

By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2014

Before raising its latest $100 million in funding, Square was in talks with Apple regarding a possible acquisition, reports TechCrunch this afternoon. The outlet says that the two companies held discussions briefly, but the conversation quickly ended when their final numbers didn’t match up.

Apparently Apple was willing to pay around $3 billion for the mobile payments company, about 30% over its value. TechCrunch even claims that the Cupertino firm showed Square hardware it was working on that would compete directly with its point-of-sale tools, but the company declined. Read More


Rumor: Apple planning to acquire social network Path

By Jake Smith on Sep 9, 2014

Apple is close to announcing an acquisition of the social network Path, according to a report from PandoDaily, in an attempt to bolster its social offerings. According to a lone-source said to be placed within Apple’s engineering team: “It’s almost done, if not signed already, but it’s essentially a done deal.” Read More


Amazon has acquired Twitch for $970 million

By Jake Smith on Aug 25, 2014

Amazon has acquired Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, both companies announced in a statement after the market close on Monday. Google’s YouTube was thought to have originally been the winning bidder, but that has changed after Amazon stepped in to close the deal. Read More

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