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Could Apple's Imaging AI Acquisition Be Headed For The Smart Home?

Mike Wolf AI Apple Perceptio

It's no secret over the past few years that big tech has been stocking up their AI war chests. With the rapid advancement of personal assistant technology such as Siri, Alexa and Google Now, it's been clear a space race is going on in artificial intelligence and companies are trying to scoop up the leading minds in the space.

In the home, much of the focus with AI has been around voice assistance technology, but a newer and perhaps more interesting front is beginning to open in terms of imaging AI. I wrote for Forbes about how companies like Google and June are doing really interesting things in trying to use imaging to recognize food to both assist in cooking as well as enable better health choices, and there are other interesting startups we're hearing about in this space that have some very intriguing technology.

And now this week, we got news of an interesting and little noticed move by Apple (as much as the world's biggest tech brand can do anything that qualifies as "little noticed") - The  company from Cupertino bought an artificial intelligence based image recognition company called Perceptio.

According to Bloomberg, Apple got some serious experts in the companies founders:

The company’s leaders, Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone, are both established AI researchers who specialize in developing image-recognition systems using deep learning. Deep learning is an approach to artificial intelligence that lets computers learn to identify and classify sensory input.

Now, while no one can say for sure as to whether the company will use their new AI expertise in food or kitchen applications, it's not out of the realm of possibility. And if they don't use Perceptio's tech to create a specific consumer facing product (hardware or software), there's no doubt that they could open it up to other companies in the form of core iOS technology to power new and interesting applications.

Either way, expect imaging AI to become a bigger and bigger front in the war for the connected home, and Apple now has their generals to execute their own battle plans.

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  • Michael Wolf on

    @Brett – I think long-term you’ll certainly see Google/Alphabet/Nest sharing lots of core technology across devices, both for their own branded platforms as well as possibly in third-party software platforms such as Android. AI and imaging intelligence will be a big battlefield for smart home and Google’s well positioned IMO.

  • Brett on

    Interesting thoughts on how imaging AI will impact the smart home. Do you think Dropcam will reap the benefits from Google’s AI push? I could see the camera becoming a lot more accurate in telling who’s home and who isn’t.

    Keep up the great work!

    CEO, Notion

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