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Apple acquires startup that could improve Apple TV+ streaming

Published Mar 27th, 2023 4:46PM EDT
Apple TV app
Image: Apple

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Apple has acquired a Mountain View-based startup called WaveOne. While it’s not always the case that the Cupertino firm talks openly about acquisitions, TechCrunch discovered one of the latest purchases made by Apple via a month-old LinkedIn post.

WaveOne shut down its website around January, and several former employees, including one of WaveOne’s co-founders, work for Apple now. Bob Stankosh, the startup’s former head of sales and business development, talked about the deal about a month ago on LinkedIn:

“After almost two years at WaveOne, last week we finalized the sale of the company to Apple,” Stankosh wrote. “We started our journey at WaveOne, realizing that machine learning and deep learning video technology could potentially change the world. Apple saw this potential and took the opportunity to add it to their technology portfolio.”

This startup was developing AI algorithms for compressing video. The company was founded in 2016, and its main innovation was a “content-aware” video compression and decompression algorithm. This feature could run on the AI accelerators built into many phones and PCs. That said, the AI “understood” a video frame and could prioritize faces over other elements within a scene to save bandwidth, for example.

With that in mind, WaveOne could help Apple improve even more the streaming on Apple TV Plus. While the company offers one of the best bitrates in the industry, this technology could improve video compression to save on bandwidth costs or enable Apple TV Plus to deliver higher resolutions and framerates.

TechCrunch highlights that YouTube already does that with Alphabet’s DeepMind adapter machine learning algorithm. That said, Apple could be implementing these changes internally, and we could see the benefits in the coming months as the company keeps focusing on expanding its content offerings from entertainment to sports.

BGR will let you know once we learn more about Apple’s latest acquisitions.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.