UAE- Apple buys edge-based firm for $200m

Ruben Fields
January 18, 2020

The Verge reports that the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan rely on Xnor.ai's on-device people detection, but now that Apple owns the company, the support has been pulled in a beta firmware update currently rolling out to Wyze customers' devices.

Apple Inc. has acquired artificial-intelligence startup Xnor.ai for a price near $200 million, according to reports Wednesday. Going by the same line, Apple just added another startup to its long queue of AI acquisitions. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Axios reported previous year that AI acquisitions reflect a need for big tech companies to secure scarce AI expertise. Apple uses AI across its software, allowing for search on devices and features like Siri. And while Google may have the lead when it comes to AI, this Xnor.ai acquisition could give Apple, specifically the iPhone, a boost. Xnor spun out of the incubator of the Allen Institute for AI (AI2), a research lab created by the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

Though it's not yet clear exactly how Xnor.ai's products will be used by Apple, the startup is also thought to specialize in image recognition software.

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Apple's purchases of Xnor.ai as well as Turi form part of a wider recent tendency on its part toward buying small AI firms.

Last month, it acquired British AI firm Spectral Edge, a Cambridge-based firm that uses combines image-fusion technology with machine learning to dramatically enhance the quality of iPhone photos. The move is set to increase Apple's presence in the Seattle region where the tech giant has been building an engineering outpost.

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