It has emerged that Apple acquired a startup specializing in AI-based video compression earlier this year, but it is unclear how the company intends to use the technology.
There has been no official announcement from Cupertino, nor have the terms of the deal been disclosed, as is customary when Apple makes an acquisition. In this case, however, a WaveOne co-founder wrote about the acquisition on LinkedIn, which TechCrunch discovered and reported on this week.
Aside from the LinkedIn announcement, which clearly didn’t make much of an impression when it was first made, TechCrunch has discovered that several former WaveOne employees are now working on machine learning at Apple. Despite Apple’s lack of official comment, the cat is clearly out of the bag.
WaveOne was profiled by TechCrunch in 2020, and the company was using machine-learning hardware like Apple’s Neural Engine to accelerate and streamline video compression on mobile devices.
What we don’t know for certain is how Apple sees the acquisition fitting into its long-term strategy, though there are obvious benefits for the company.
However, optimizing Apple’s TV+ streaming service by reducing data by a few percent could result in significant cost savings or improvements to resolution or framerates.