iPhones are often thought of as some of the better performing camera smartphones on the market, and now it sounds like Apple is working to make iPhone photography even better.
Apple has acquired Spectral Edge Ltd., a U.K.-based startup that aims to help improve photos taken by smartphones, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company uses machine learning to make photos crisper with more accurate colors, taking an infrared photo and blends it with a standard image to improve the photo.
"Spectral Edge leads the world in Image Fusion technology," said the company's website, which has now disappeared. "We combine our Image Fusion IP with Machine Learning to reveal more of the colour, detail and clarity in a scene. Embedded real-time technology — no filters or apps required."
Neither Apple nor Spectral Edge have officially announced this acquisition, but U.K. filings name Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood as a director of Spectral Edge. Additionally, all other advisers and board members have been terminated, and the filings say that Apple now controls Spectral.
It's unlikely that Apple will come out and say exactly why it bought Spectral Edge or what it plans to do with the company's tech. Apple could use it to improve the Deep Fusion feature on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro which uses machine learning to perform pixel-by-pixel processing of photos and optimize for texture, detail, and noise.