The technology Apple purchased today will probably end up in the 2020 iPhones



Traditionally, Apple purchases small companies under the radar and within a year the acquisition pays off with a new feature for the iPhone. A good example of this took place in 2012 when Apple acquired biometrics company AuthenTec for $356 million. The next year, Touch ID debuted on the iPhone 5s. Even before then, back in April 2010 Apple purchased SIRI for an undisclosed amount. The company had just listed a mobile concierge app in the App Store also called SIRI that the developers were planning to offer to Android and BlackBerry phones. Apple purchased Siri and a year later the virtual assistant launched on the iPhone 4s.

Apple picked up Israel's LinX Computational Imaging Ltd. for a rumored $20 million in 2015 helping the company improve the photography experience on the iPhone. And last year, Apple spent an unknown amount of money to buy Texture. The company had an app that offered subscribers unlimited digital access to over 200 magazines. A few months after purchasing Texture, a rumor surfaced that Apple would use the app to develop a subscription-based service called Apple News+; sure enough, that rumor was right on and Apple News+ launched this year.

If past is prologue, expect to see some of IKinema's technology used next year's iPhones


If history repeats itself, we could see some new Animoji and Memoji features for iOS 14 and next year's iPhone models. That's because Apple has confirmed to CNBC that it has purchased IKinema for an undisclosed amount. Among the technology created by the company is a system that turns people captured on video into animated characters. Based in the U.K., Ikinema promotes itself as a company that "helps creators of next-gen games and VR experiences power up to deliver incredible immersion and freedom." This isn't the first 3D animated graphics company that Apple has purchased. In 2015, the tech titan bought FaceShift and the latter's technology that captures a person's facial expressions in real-time. As you can probably guess, this technology was employed by Apple for Animoji and Memoji.


A quick visit to the IKinema website reveals that it has been basically taken down although the company does have some videos posted on YouTube. One shows how the real-life movements of a person can be duplicated to move an animated character or even an animated tree. Running through some of the videos, it is obvious that Apple will be able to use IKinema's technology to improve Animoji and Memoji. The former are animated animal emoji that track the user's facial movements. Memoji are also animated emoji that track the user's facial movements, but these actually are created in the image of the user. The videos also show some green screen tricks that Apple could employ when producing content for its Apple TV+ streaming video service and to create games for Apple Arcade. Apple hasn't developed any of the games for Arcade, and as far as we know there aren't any plans to do so. But if it does, IKinema's technology would sure go a long way toward creating some top tier effects.


In case you were wondering, or if you ever appear on a game show, the largest acquisition ever made by Apple was the $3 billion purchase of Beats Audio announced in May of 2014. Apple made the purchase to acquire Beats Music, although it had only 111,000 subscribers around the time that the deal was announced. In true Apple fashion, slightly over a year later, Apple Music was launched.

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20 Comments

1. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Just a good additional feature.

2. DBozz

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

For Apple and (in some cases also Samsung), nowadays innovative companies are just in their shopping cart. Its that simple to be "innovative"

3. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

For Apple and Samsung, nowadays innovative companies are just in their shopping cart. Its that simple to be "innovative" Fixed it for you. You're welcome.

5. DBozz

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

He he...! actually i wrote this exactly that before editing it in brackets for Samsung. I did a little research and got to know apple is the one who frequently does that compared to any other tech company. And the first paragraph of this article also an evident. Samsung develops almost every single component of the mobile just like Bosch develops almost 70% of the components for cars. Apple mostly plays kinda lego game and binding them with their most efficient software with their state of art calibration. Be mind for Samsung, mobile phone is just an another devision. They are already pioneers in developing products from military equipments to home appliances.

6. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Here I'll make it easy-list everything on the Note 10 that Samsung invented.

16. dumpster666

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

I'm just asking... Was amoled developed by Samsung?

20. DBozz

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

OLED was invented by kodak in 1987 and kodak is currently owned by LG. AMOLED is first introduced in nokia phones and then introduced in Samsung two months later. Since then samsung continuously improves and better the OLED displays -Google

4. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2255; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Apple’s on fire right now. They are pushing the right buttons with their customer base, while building momentum on what’s in the near future. I wish 2020 was here.

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1441; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Their customer base must be between the ages of 4 and 12, can't imagine anyone older than that being entertained by Animoji and the like.

13. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yeah, because those cool icon packs and themes on android just scream maturity and erudition!

19. Alcyone

Posts: 491; Member since: May 10, 2018

Haha, lol. He's got a point. My coworker uses an iphone 8 plus and his 15 yr old son has an XS. Snapchat and emoji works best on an iphone, and i see that all day at work. Maturity is relative, and I'm a grown up, and so are my co workers. Wasting money in aquiring a company just to keep pace with another oem. Rewatch the Note 10 unpacked event.

22. mackan84

Posts: 561; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Japan will throw money at this. They’re whole society is built around respect to elders and work so when they blow of steam they go crazy. When I saw that girl turn into a anime chick that was my first thought. And YouTube will probably have channels with animated hosts by this.

14. chris2k5

Posts: 289; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Apple pays for technology they want to put in their phones. Samsung just steals it from Apple and says they invented it.

18. Alcyone

Posts: 491; Member since: May 10, 2018

Lg Prada was first commercially released before Apple or Samsung has a "round corner touch screen phone". Lg was first to the game, even though a US release never happened. Must be too young to have seen the rise of phones from bags to what they are now? Thats ok.

21. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Your drool cup is overflowing. Better get mom to empty it.

15. AustinPaul

Posts: 155; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

And the Apple fanboys rag on Samsung for gimmicks... Sometimes it's just fun to have some of these features - even if the novelty wears off quickly. Doesn't bother me unless we pay through the nose for things we won't end up using in the long run.

17. htcisthebest

Posts: 437; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Not innovative at all. Just junk gimmicks. Looking forward to the Surface Duo. That's real innovation!

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