Apple has acquired Regaind, a French startup that focused on using its computer vision API to recognize content within photos, TechCrunch reports. Apple issued the standard confirmation statement to TC when asked about the company purchase.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Apple already ships features through its Photos app for searching for subjects like dogs and sunsets and Apple’s Memories feature intelligently creates collections of photos based on context, but TC notes that Regaind provided features not currently used in iOS to date:
Regaind goes one step further and can tell you the technical and aesthetical values of your photos. For instance, if you shoot a bunch of photos in burst mode, Regaind could automatically find the best shot and use it as the main shot in your photo library. Regaind could also hide duplicates. […]
Interestingly, Regaind also analyzes your face to determine your gender, age and emotion. It’s unclear if Apple had enough time to leverage Regaind with iOS 11. Apple may have combined Regaind technology with the new Face ID sensor in the iPhone X to reinforce animoji facial expressions for instance. And I’m sure there will be more to come.
Apple has a number of other machine learning and facial recognition firms it has acquired including Emotient, Perceptio, and Turi which have boosted the recent focus on AI features being highlighted in Apple’s software.