Apple Acquires Israeli Startup LinX To Bring DSLR-Quality Cameras To Future iPhones

It's being reported that Apple has gone out and acquired LinX Computational Imaging Ltd., a camera-technology based in Israel, for about $20 million. While nothing has yet been announced, it's assumed that Apple will use LinX's technology in future smartphone and tablet devices, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokesman told The Wall Street Journal, which took that statement as confirmation that a deal had been consummated.

LinX specializes in miniature cameras for mobile devices that use various sensors and algorithms to capture and process multiple images at once. In doing so, LinX's camera's can add depth information to its shots and create 3D maps.

LinX Cameras

Regarding depth sensing, the acquisition by Apple could be viewed as a response to Intel's RealSense technology, which uses multiple cameras to shoot single-shot photos. The appeal of depth sensing is that users can make certain adjustments to the photos, such as bringing the background into focus or vice versa, among other tricks.

Apple might have also been drawn to LinX's previous claims that its small camera modules excel in low-light situations and are comparable in quality to digital SLR cameras, which are far more bulky.

"The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end. Device makers are striving to differentiate using imaging capabilities but the pixel size race has ended and next generation cameras do not reveal any dramatic improvements. LinX cameras revolutionize mobile photography and broaden the usability span and user experience, allowing us to leave our SLRs at home," LinX stated in June 2014.

In addition to refocusing subjects, LinX's camera modules boast features like automatic background removal, support for augmented reality, 3d object modeling, distance and sizing of objects, biometric 3D face recognition, and more.