Apple acquires WaveOne, an AI video compression startup

Apple has acquired Mountain View-based WaveOne, a startup that was developing AI algorithms for compressing video.

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Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch:

Apple wouldn’t confirm the sale when asked for comment. But WaveOne’s website was shut down around January, and several former employees, including one of WaveOne’s co-founders, now work within Apple’s various machine learning groups.

WaveOne’s former head of sales and business development, Bob Stankosh, announced the sale in a LinkedIn post published a month ago.

“After almost two years at WaveOne, last week we finalized the sale of the company to Apple,” Stankosh wrote. “We started our journey at WaveOne, realizing that machine learning and deep learning video technology could potentially change the world. Apple saw this potential and took the opportunity to add it to their technology portfolio.”

WaveOne’s main innovation was a “content-aware” video compression and decompression algorithm that could run on the AI accelerators built into many phones and an increasing number of PCs. Leveraging AI-powered scene and object detection, the startup’s technology could essentially “understand” a video frame, allowing it to, for example, prioritize faces at the expense of other elements within a scene to save bandwidth.

MacDailyNews Take: One can imagine myriad ways why Apple would like the ability to increase streaming video efficiency.

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1 Comment

  1. Keep in mind, Apple often acquires companies simply for the workers, not for their technologies. They could always use technologies they acquire, always, but the odds of breaking off with their own compression codecs is likely low… More likely, they want the worker talent.

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