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Apple acquires Cambridge-based photography start-up

By Ramla Soni

Spectral Edge says it uses machine learning technology to eliminate issues such as pixelation or distortions in pictures

Apple has acquired Cambridge-based photography technology start-up, Spectral Edge, whose technology could be used to improve photos taken on iPhones.

Spectral Edge, which came out of UK’s University of East Anglia research lab in 2014, specialises in software that fuses together multiple versions of the same image to improve photo quality, including versions taken on the invisible infrared spectrum.

The start-up says it uses machine learning technology eliminating issues such as pixelation or distortions to a picture which then produced usable photos.

According to Spectral Edge, the method substantially improves white balance accuracy.

An Apple spokesperson said: “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.”

Spectral Edge raised $5.3m (£3.9m, €4.7m) in a 2018 Series A funding round, led by venture capital firms IQ Capital and Parkwalk Advisors, according to data from Crunchbase.

Apple has focused on improving the camera quality of its iPhone in recent years, with the new three-lens camera on its most recent handset, iPhone 11 Pro, the flagship feature.

The sum of the acquisition has not yet been disclosed and Spectral Edge’s website has been taken down.

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