One of the top company in the world, Apple has quietly acquired a startup named WaveOne, a California-based startup that develops AI algorithms for video compression.
Well, though Apple did not announce the acquisition, Bob Stankosh, WaveOne’s former head of sales and business development, posted on LinkedIn about the sale of the startup to iPhone maker.
“After almost two years at WaveOne, last week we finalized the sale of the company to Apple,” Stankosh posted.
He continued “We started our journey at WaveOne, realising that machine learning/deep learning video technology could potentially change the world. Apple saw this potential and took the opportunity to add it to their technology portfolio,”
He also thanked co-founders, Lubomir Bourdev and Oren Rippel as well as Craig Lytle, for helping to bring the idea to market and advancing this concept for commercial applications.
In addition, WaveOne also claimed that its video compression tech was robust to sudden disruptions in connectivity.
Surely that is to say, it could make a “best guess” based on whatever bits it had available, so when bandwidth was suddenly restricted, the video wouldn’t freeze; it’d just show less detail for the duration.
Now this newly acquired company claimed its approach, which was hardware-agnostic, could reduce the size of video files by as much as half, with better gains in more complex scenes.
Then investors saw the potential, apparently. Prior to the Apple acquisition, WaveOne attracted $9 million from backers including Khosla Ventures, Vela Partners, Incubate Fund, Omega Venture Partners and Blue Ivy.
However, now what might Apple want with an AI-powered video codec? Well, the obvious answer is more efficient streaming.
Surely even minor improvements in video compression could save on bandwidth costs, or enable services like Apple TV+ to deliver higher resolutions and framerates depending on the type of content being streamed.
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