Apple buys Perceptico, which develops advanced AI for phones

Apple is continuing its shopping spree. According to Bloomberg, the company has scooped up Perceptio, a startup developing technology to let companies run advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems on smartphones without needing to share as much user data.

"Perceptio's goals were to develop techniques to run AI image-classification systems on smartphones, without having to draw from large external repositories of data," notes Bloomberg. "That fits Apple's strategy of trying to minimize its usage of customer data and do as much processing as possible on the device."

The company cofounders and artificial intelligence researchers Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone (who earned PhDs from Harvard and MIT, respectively) are reportedly now working for Apple. Perceptico is known for its AI software used to classify image data without requiring massive resources. 

  • Perceptico is Apple’s ninth acquisition for 2015. The company has also purchased: 
  • VocallQ, a company that specializes in voce control within automobiles;
  • MapSense, a data analytics and visualization company;
  • Metaio, an augmented reality company; 
  • Coherent Navigation, which makes a High Integrity Global Positioning System (iGPS), which combines signals from the traditional mid-earth orbit GPS satellites with those from the low-earth satellites of voice and data provider Iridium to offer greater accuracy and precision, higher signal integrity, and greater jam resistance; 
  • LinX, an Israeli camera tech company; 
  • FoundationDB, a company that specializes in “speedy, durable” NoSQL databases that provide NoSQL and SQL access;
  •  Acunu, a London-based data analytics firm.