Camerai AR Technology adapted to Apple Products
Between 2018 and 2019, Apple secretly acquired an Israeli computer vision company, Camerai. Since then, it has adapted Camerai’s developments into current products.
Since the release of the ARKit in 2017, Apple AR technology and related developments have picked up pace. These AR related development can be linked to the secretive acquisition of Camerai instead of internal research.
According to Calcalist an Israeli based newspaper , Apple’s acquisition of Camerai has already bolstered Apple’s work in AR and computer vision. Calcalist also reports that Camerai’s technology has become “an important part of every Apple camera.”
An inside source at Camerai, the acquisition of the company was worth tens of millions of dollars. At the time of the acquisition, the startup had 13 people in employment at Tel Aviv. Majority of them have joined Apple’s team in Herzliya.
The company has operated with stealthiness since its founding in 2014 and raised very little capital. Camerai’s platforms has allowed apps and developers to easily create AR and image processing graphics with limited technical knowledge. It is said that several other companies approached Camerai about the possibility of an acquisition — including Samsung and Alibaba.
Adapting Camerai AR Capabilities to Apple’s Camera
Since its adaption into Apple’s cameras, Camerai’s technology has made it easier for developers to add AR capabilities into their apps. This gave the suggestion that the development is related to ARKit or a computational photography feature.
More specifically, Camerai’s AR technology includes the ability to detect objects within a picture and outline them so that they could be adjusted cosmetically. The company also created an SDK that allows developers to use AR tools to edit images in more sophisticated ways.
Although it is not clear which specific feature Camerai’s technology contributes to, Apple has introduced many AR- and camera-related improvements since 2018. That includes the Portrait Mode on the iPhone SE that solely relies on machine learning.
In addition to smartphone and tablet AR developments, Apple is also working on wearables. The wearables would integrate virtualized and mixed-reality environments — including a rumored headset-like device that could be called “Apple Glass.”
According to Calcalist, Apple’s operates a development center in Israel that is based on the foundation of local acquisitions. In recent years, that center has seen as intensive recruiting phase and currently employs more than 1,500 people.