Apple bought a machine learning green screen startup to focus on AR

Apple has quietly bought Spektral, a Danish machine learning startup that specializes in real-time green screen technology. The $30 million deal actually happened last year, but it was reported today by Danish newspaper Børsen. Apple has been focusing more and more on its AR capabilities lately, and this latest acquisition may be meant to boost the iPhone’s AR features for Memoji or FaceTime or as a part of its plans for an augmented reality headset, whichBloomberg reported may be coming in 2020.

Spektral, which previously went by the name CloudCutout, uses machine learning and computer vision techniques to “cut out” people from video backgrounds in real time on smartphones. “Combining deep neural networks and spectral graph theory with…

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