Apple continues to acquire and add small businesses under its skirt. This time, the The Information informed about another purchase of the company: that of startup machine learning Silk Labs, which uses artificial intelligence to develop increasingly connected products, especially for homes.
Like most Apple acquisitions, details of this deal have not been released; however, it is likely that the purchase occurred earlier this year. In terms of values, the transaction may have been relatively small for Apple, as Silk Labs employed just 12 employees and had raised about $ 4 million in funding.
There is also no way of knowing how Apple will adopt technologies developed by Silk Labs, but startup they are aimed at residential security, retail analysis, access control, parking monitoring and building surveillance, including features such as people detection and facial recognition.
Three years ago, the company launched a product on Kickstarter called Sense, a hub (equipped with a camera) designed to be a “digital brain” for gadgets smart households. Its function was to communicate with all connected devices to improve interoperability and learn the user’s needs over time.
Both Apple and Silk Labs have already shown an interest in using artificial intelligence to protect user privacy. With Sense, for example, startup performed all computational processing on the device itself, storing data and images locally instead of using online services, to ensure user privacy.
Silk Labs was founded in 2015 by three engineers: Andreas Gal, Chris Jones and Michael Vines. Before joining the team startup, Gal and Jones were respectively CTO and engineer at Mozilla, while Vines was senior director of technology at Qualcomm Innovation Center.
As we said, this is not Apple’s first assault on artificial intelligence; last year, Apple bought Lattice Data (focused on the use of machine learning and AI) for $ 200 million. This year, the Cupertino giant hired the formerGoogler John Giannandrea, who took over from Apple as head of machine learning and AI strategies.