Apple has purchased Spektral, an ML green screen startup to develop AR

The acquisition is the latest in a string of AR developments, showing Apple is ramping up plans to adopt the technology on a wide scale


Apple has bought Spektral, a Danish machine learning (ML) visual effects startup working in real-time green screen technology, for more than $30m to focus on developing augmented reality (AR) in its products. While the deal actually happened nearly a year ago in December 2017, it was only just reported today by the Danish Newspaper Børsen.

Spektral were founded in 2014 and creates software for cameras. One of the features in particular is the ability to cut people and objects from video backgrounds.

On its website, the company explained its software: "Combining deep neural networks and spectral graph theory with the computing power of modern GPUs, our engine can process images and video from the camera in real-time (60 fps) directly on the device."

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The news of this acquisition is the latest in a number of AR-related developments coming from the tech giant. Earlier this year, Apple bought Akonia, a startup focused on creating AR lenses, fuelling rumors that it will soon release its long-awaited AR glasses.

Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Ku, has predicted that AR technology will be the next biggest development for the company.

"We predict that AR is the next-generation revolutionary UI; we therefore think that AR does not need any killer applications given it is a killer application already," Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a research note.

"We expect Apple will redefine the UIs of existing products by offering an AR experience," he added. 

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