Apple has a bit of a history snatching up startups and other companies. These newly acquired firms seem to have relevant technologies and ideologies that are similar to Apple’s overall path. Previous acquisitions have included Beats Electronics, Dryft, LinX, Metaio, and others. Now, Apple has acquired another company to add to its ever-growing list: Perceptio.
Just last week, Apple purchased Perceptio, a startup focused on bringing artificial intelligence to smartphones. Apple also acquired the company’s cofounders, Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone, who possess PhDs from Harvard and MIT, respectively.
You may have heard of the cofounders before: they have another side project, an ingenious GIF-creation application dubbed Smoothie.
Perceptio was founded by Pinto and Stone in order to address how a user’s information is stored in the cloud. Their work has been important in helping to develop a software “capable of recognizing and classifying images without tapping into monolithic stores of data, unlike current image recognition engines”.
Their overall goal with Perceptio was to develop an AI software that could use image recognition without having ties to a plethora of stored data. This, in turn, fits right with Apple’s ethics and overall strategy. And their timing couldn’t have been better: cloud security is one of the biggest concerns for mobile users.
Apple provided everyone with its general statement upon Perceptio’s purchase: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Even though Apple’s plans with Perceptio remain unclear, different sources have surmised possible scenarios.
Some say that Apple may use Perceptio’s technology in order to further enhance Siri’s capabilities, which currently lags behind competitors like Google Now and Microsoft Cortana.
The acquisition of Perceptio comes only a matter of weeks after Apple snatched up VocalIQ, a UK-startup that specializes in voice recognition technology. Their software learns as it goes, using your conversations and interactions in order to better process any future requests.
Both companies’ technologies could help to further advance the user interface and user interaction with Apple devices, and could definitely help set Apple above competitor IBM in the race for readily-available AI.