Apple acquires AI software firm

Apple has reportedly acquired the AI startup Silk Labs as the Cupertino-based tech giant looks to expand its artificial intelligence and smart home offerings.

According to The Information, the sale took place earlier this year and it was likely a small acquisition as Silk Labs only had around a dozen employees.

The startup raised $4m in funding which it used to develop a smart home product that was later shelved. Silk Labs then went on to develop artificial intelligence software “lightweight enough to fit onto consumer hardware like cameras”.

This could have huge implications for future Apple products that may one day be able to utilise AI to process data without sending it to the cloud.

Sense smart home hub

Silk Labs is not a well known name in the tech industry but the company was co-founded by Mozilla’s former CTO Andreas Gal. The company only announced one product, an intelligent camera and smart home hub called Sense.

Sense launched on Kickstarter back in February of 2016 but the smart home hub only received around $150,000 in funding from 774 backers. Silk Labs then cancelled the product in June at which time it announced that it would shift its focus to developing AI software for other companies.

Apple has not officially confirmed the acquisition and it will likely be some time before we see Silk Labs’ technology make its way into an Apple Watch or iPhone.

Via The Information