Apple has acquired a startup, Waveone, that is developing AI algorithms to compress videos for efficient streaming. Although, Apple is tight-lipped about this acquisition.
Apple has quietly acquired WaveOne, a Mountain View-based startup that was developing AI algorithms for compressing video.
Although Apple has not confirmed the acquisition, several former employees, including one of WaveOne’s co-founders, now work within Apple’s various machine-learning groups. WaveOne’s main innovation was a “content-aware” video compression and decompression algorithm that could run on the AI accelerators built into many phones and an increasing number of PCs.
Leveraging AI-powered scene and object detection, the startup’s technology could essentially “understand” a video frame, allowing it to prioritize faces and other elements within a scene to save bandwidth. Investors saw the potential, and prior to the Apple acquisition, WaveOne attracted $9 million from backers, including Khosla Ventures, Vela Partners, Incubate Fund, Omega Venture Partners, and Blue Ivy.
So what might Apple want with an AI-powered video codec? The answer is simple: more efficient streaming. 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.
Stay tuned for more updates on how Apple plans to utilize WaveOne’s technology to enhance its services.