Apple acquires Spectral Edge to improve iPhone photography

The iPhone’s camera systems are already plenty impressive, especially in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, but there’s always room for improvement.

Apple apparently has the same line of thinking, because it has just made an acquisition that will help in that regard. That’s based on documents made public in the United Kingdom this week, as first reported today by Bloomberg. Based on the documentation, Apple’s corporate lawyer Peter Denwood has been named a director of Spectral Edge Ltd., which is based out of Cambridge in the UK.

The UK-based startup’s additional board members and advisers were apparently terminated following the acquisition by Apple.

Last year, Spectral Edge said it had raised more than $5 million in funding, however, at the time of publication it remains unknown how much Apple spent to acquire the startup. Interestingly, Apple did not supply its typical response to this report, either. Apple usually doesn’t outright confirm an acquisition of this nature, but it doesn’t outright deny it, either. That typical statement wasn’t provided for this report, though.

So, Spectral Edge. This is a startup that’s focused on improving photography by way of machine learning. Spectral Edge’s technology uses ML to help improve color accuracy utilizing an infrared shot and fusing it with a standard photograph. The result should be an image with better color accuracy.

From the report:

Spectral Edge’s technology could contribute to the AI Apple already uses in its Camera app by continuing to improve the quality of photos in low-light environments. The startup has said its technology can be applied via software or chips. Apple’s latest devices include custom processors that assist with picture taking.

This all sounds pretty great! Will we see the results of this acquisition as early as 2020? Considering how important smartphone photography has become over the years it stands to reason that we’ll see some improvements on the already impressive camera system in next year’s iPhones, so maybe!

How would you improve the iPhone’s camera and the photographs it takes if you had a blank check?