Apple Acquires Israeli Camera Tech Company LinX Imaging for ~$20 Million

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. LinX specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it's possible that Apple will use the company's technology in upcoming iOS devices.

    Last year, LinX announced the launch of miniature multi-aperture cameras half the height of standard mobile cameras with the ability to create "stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps" for SLR image quality without the bulk of an SLR camera.

    LinX's technology uses software to extract depth information for each pixel to create a depth map for that can also be used for 3D image reconstruction. LinX's website is now defunct, but the company offered products with two, three, and four camera arrays in multiple configurations and sizes. Its most recent technology was downscaled enough to be ready for use in mobile devices.

    LinX technology includes several other improvements Apple could potentially take advantage of, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, better sensitivity to light, and greatly improved image quality in low light.

    There have been rumors suggesting Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will offer much improved dual-lens camera technology with image quality on par with SLR cameras, which could be made possible through mobile camera advancements like those LinX Imaging has worked on.

    Camera improvements and iPhone photography have always been important to Apple, and its iOS devices routinely offer highly competitive picture taking capabilities that often outclass devices from competing companies. In the past, major improvements to camera technology have come in "S" release years, so it is likely we will see at least some boost in picture quality in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

    Apple confirmed the purchase of LinX Imaging with its standard acquisition statement, given to The Wall Street Journal: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

    Article Link: Apple Acquires Israeli Camera Tech Company LinX Imaging for ~$20 Million
  2. Vanilla Face macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2013
  3. Albright macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    So if you make an app to apply filters to and share smartphone photos, that's worth $1 billion, but if you make the actual hardware to take those photos, that's only worth $20 million.

    Sometimes I really hate this industry.
  4. quickcalibre macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2013
    Well love all camera improvements. So really good news. :D
  5. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    I just heard this, the move away from Sony it seems.
  6. NYC Matt macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    Umm, NYC
    Breaking - Kuo predicts new cameras

    Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with a history of predicting the blindingly obvious, predicts that future Apple products will contain this camera technology.
  7. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    Only $20M? I would suggest all tech startups also create a streaming music service.

    Seriously, Apple needs this tech.
  8. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    SLR quality from an iPhone would be flat out terrific. The iPhone already takes incredible pictures as is. The only thing I want from it is good depth of field on certain shots.
  9. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    It's more like, if you make an app that has 50 million registered users that create their own content, most of which compulsively check for new content several times per day, translating into 50 million sets of eyeballs for ads, it's worth $1 billion; but if you make comoditized hardware that can be ripped off by any competitor because patents are becoming worthless, that's only worth $20 million.
  10. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I don't know the full extent of their technology portfolio, but I'm guessing the image sensors are not directly made by them and that we can assume this doesn't necessarily boot Sony out of the equation.
  11. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Oct 23, 2010
    That sounds about right. Users are much harder to generate. Companies don't have control over what users are doing. They do have control over wether or not they will rip off your IP.
  12. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Ming-Chi Kuo, with no other prior rumors backing up his claim, predicts Apple smartwatch will be released in 2015, have 8gb of storage, come in 2 sizes, will come in aluminum and gold, and will have different band materials-

  13. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
    It's all cool, but let's stop pretending; it's not SLR quality.

    Sensor size does matter. You will never get the performance of an SLR out of a small sensor.
  14. KazKam macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2011
    Sorry, but the reason you won't get "image quality on par with SLR cameras" isn't because of the sensors or resolution, it's because of the lenses. The quality, quantity, and size of glass you can fit into a phone or compact camera is the bottleneck and the reason phones and compacts still haven't, and probably won't replace SLR-sized camera platforms for a loooooong time for professional quality images.

    You can pack as many sensors as you want at resolutions that are stupid-high, but all you're capturing is as good as what's coming through the "glass".
  15. Col4bin macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    El Segundo
    The mobile phone industry (and consumers) are finally acknowledging that stuffing 5,000 mega pixels into a mobile device doesn't really make for a better picture, more a marketing gimmick. It's all about F/stop aperture, larger image sensors, and better quality optics. This is a great move by Apple. Hope to see this tech integrated into the iP7 when I'm next due to upgrade. :D
  16. Bhatu macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2013
    They may put a small LinX in future watches and macs for facetime.
  17. Col4bin macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    El Segundo
    Or the ability to better control depth of field in real-time or in post.
  18. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Hopefully this will mean the end of the camera bulge on the iPhone. Multiple half height sensors should do it.
  19. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    This is terrible news. I was hoping for minimum updates on the 6s and planned to skip it. Therefore I used the saved money to buy the watch. Now, I will stew with envy for a year until I can buy the 7. :mad::eek::D
  20. solamar macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2008
    I don't mind the bulge.. don't care at all.. I use a ultra slim case and even that completely negates the bulge. :rolleyes:

    I especially don't mind if it gets us SLR level photography. :eek:
  21. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    It's down to which makes more money and is more popular.
  22. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Well....looks like a newer and badder 6s/6s Plus camera. Sweet
  23. LordVic Suspended

    Sep 7, 2011
    its a combination of sensor and lense.

    its a matter of physics and how light reacts. So you're not wrong, but you can't discount the sensor.

    simply put, photography works by absorption of light. the more light, the better. that means, bigger better glass, bigger better sensors.

    Smartphones are limited in both the Glass and the Sensor size. unless someone invents a way of defying the laws of physics and light behaviour, you will never be able to match the larger format cameras.

    however, thats not to say that modern smartphone cameras aren't completely capable of handling some impressive things.

    I will never trade my DSLR in for a smartphone camera, but I appreciate having the ability to take HD Shots from my pocket
  24. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    The hardware guy has no idea if his idea will take off or not.

    The "website" with million of users, even thou not profitable, knows that each users information and activity is worth something, so he can say pay me x$ for each user i have.
  25. 6836838 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2011
    You'll never get SLR performance out of tiny lenses. It's simple physics. As for optical telephoto lenses, erm...

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