Apple acquires Xnor.ai

Apple has confirmed its acquisition of machine learning developer Xnor.ai for $US200 million but has declined to comment further on the purchase.

Xnor.ai makes machine learning algorithms so efficient that they can run on low tier hardware out there, things like embedded electronics in intrusion sensors or CCTV cameras. With Xnor’s algorithms these could accomplish tasks like object recognition at the edge without power hungry processors or connection to the cloud.

Xnor’s camera software uses machine learning algorithms for both capturing and processing images, a compute-heavy task that could potentially be made much lighter with the inclusion of Xnor’s economizing techniques. The acquisition would allow Apple to develop devices that can operate independent of the cloud for such tasks as facial recognition, natural language processing, and augmented reality.

Xnor tech could also empower Apple’s smart home solutions, such as HomePod.

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