Apple has purchased WaveOne, a video compression algorithm startup based in the United States. The company’s goal was to create compression and decompression tools that were content-aware and AI-driven.
Shout out to WaveOne!
WaveOne is a startup that started in 2016 in California. The business investigated the issue of video compression, with the goal of employing AI to develop context-aware compression and decompression tools that would significantly reduce the size of distributed video files.
The theory behind the system was that it could decrease the file size by compressing less important elements within a video frame. The company’s AI would focus on the most important aspects, such as faces or text, to accomplish this. The technology, the firm claimed, could cut video file sizes in half while keeping quality unchanged.
Video compression tools need to be cross-platform and device-agnostic for optimal performance. WaveOne asserted that its software would work with any hardware. The vast majority of mobile devices and computers with Apple Silicon should be able to run it.
What possible uses could Apple have for this technology?
To put it mildly. Developing intelligent video compression tools has implications for all of Apple’s professional and consumer video creation products, as well as its own streaming services, which it may choose to integrate into its devices’ operating systems.
The acquisition makes sense in light of Apple’s existing efforts in machine imaging intelligence and may have bearing on the company’s strategy for creating augmented reality goggles. The latter will house cameras that could be used to transmit video; after all, a man showed his wife around London via the goggles he was wearing during a demonstration of these products. Apple may benefit from a better video compression codec in its quest to make video created by such systems sufficiently portable.
It’s curious that most of us missed this opportunity. A former WaveOne executive confirmed the deal on LinkedIn in February. Apple has remained silent on the acquisition, but the company has hired a number of former WaveOne employees.