Apple has reportedly bought a Danish startup called Spektral, which specialized in real-time separation of objects in photos and videos for a “green screen” effect.
The acquisition was actually made late last year, but has flown under the radar until now, Danish publication Brsen revealed on Wednesday. Co-founders Henrik Paltoft and Toke Jansen are said to have been paid 200 million Danish krone, or about $30 million.
Jansen has become a manager of Computational Imaging at Apple, working out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Spektral‘s process relied on machine learning and computer vision technology, even handling object separation for video running at 60 frames per second. The company touted this as useful for creating mixed-reality material.
Apple’s plans for the technology are uncertain, though it could conceivably incorporate it into apps like Camera or Clips, or expand on the use of animoji.
When contacted for comment, Apple presented the normal refrain about reported acquisitions, saying that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”