It seems pretty likely according to some research done by Macrumors. imsense’s technology is likely behind the processing of the overexposed/underexposed images taken with the iPhone 4’s camera that leads to the often-better HDR pictures. Here’s the evidence, which is pretty damning:
- According to a note on the website of Braveheart Ventures, which backed imsense, the company was acquired by “an undisclosed trade buyer in July 2010”. According to a press release from Braveheart, it received £342,000 for its minority stake in imsense, more than doubling its original £150,000 investment in two years.
- Virtually all of imsense’s web presence, including its website and Facebook and Twitter accounts, have been removed since its acquisition, although its flickr account remains active and shows several examples of how its eye-fidelity technology can draw out hidden features in images to create higher-quality photos. A video of a 2009 presentation by imsense CEO Phillip Dewost demonstrating the company’s technology is also available.
- imsense’s App Store application imphoto has been removed from the App Store. That application utilized the company’s eye-fidelity technology to produce nearly-instantaneous exposure improvements to photos on the iPhone, offering processing of photos within the user’s Camera Roll as well as the ability to shoot from within the application itself.
- The company’s imphoto application also extended to the desktop, where a PC version was joined by a Mac version on July 1st, just ahead of the company’s acquisition. Both desktop applications appear to have been discontinued.
- We also note that imsense Director of Engineering Alexis Gatt left the company in July 2010, just as it was being acquired, to become senior engineer at Apple. Together, the information suggests that imsense may have been acquired by Apple, although no definitive evidence has yet been uncovered.
Although it isn’t officially supported, HDR photography may be able to be hacked into older iPhones with a little jailbroken trick.