Apple acquires the creator of an artificial intelligence video compression technology

Apple acquires the creator of an artificial intelligence video compression technology ...

WaveOne, an AI video compression company, was quietly acquired by Apple. WaveOne's previous director of sales and business development, Bob Stankosh, later spoke publicly about the sale.

Stankosh wrote that WaveOne's acquisition last week had been completed by Apple. "We began our journey at WaveOne with the belief that machine learning video technologies might potentially transform the world. Apple saw this potential and took the opportunity to add it to its technology portfolio."

Lubomir Bourdev and Oren Rippel decided to add AI to the video encoding/decoding process in 2016. Burdev was a founding member of Meta*'s AI research unit and worked with Rippel on the Facebook* channel's encoding team.

WaveOne's main innovation was a content-aware video encoding and decoding algorithm that could leverage the latest Android smartphones and PCs to efficiently utilize bandwidth. For example, faces can be prioritized above other elements in the video frame in order to maximize bandwidth.

WaveOne claims that its video compression technology is crash-tolerant, meaning that when bandwidth is suddenly reduced, the video stream is not interrupted, rather it becomes less detailed in complex scenes. The company's hardware-agnostic approach might theoretically reduce video file sizes in half, while still maintaining high quality in complex scenes.

Apple acquired WaveOne most likely to improve streaming data's efficiency. Even minor improvements in video compression may save bandwidth and allow services like Apple TV+ to provide better resolutions and frame rates depending on the content being broadcast.

YouTube is already using similar techniques — last year, Alphabet's DeepMind changed a machine learning algorithm for video compression, which resulted in a 4% reduction in the amount of data that the service sends to users. We may soon see similar innovations from the Apple-owned WaveOne team.

* Included in the list of public organizations and religious organizations in respect of which the court finalized a final decision to liquidate or prohibit activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 "On combating extremist activity."

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