Apple Reportedly Acquired French AI Startup Datakalab, Focusing on AI and Computer Vision

By Thea Felicity

Apr 22, 2024 11:37 AM EDT

A man is silhouetted near the installation "The Moral of the Story", by French artist Neïl Beloufa, near the Apple Store in Piazza Liberty in Milan, on July 7, 2021.
(Photo : MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

In a recent report by 9to5mac, it was revealed that Apple had acquired Datakalab, a startup based in Paris, France, specializing in artificial intelligence compression and computer vision technology. The acquisition, reportedly finalized in December, marks a strategic move by Apple to enhance its AI offerings.

Datakalab, known for its expertise in low-power, runtime-efficient, and deep-learning algorithms designed to work on devices, had between 10 and 20 employees prior to its acquisition by Apple. 

The company's focus on industry-leading compression and adaptation for embedded computer vision technology aligns with Apple's commitment to innovation.

Previously, Datakalab collaborated with the French government to deploy AI tools in Paris transportation systems to monitor compliance with face mask regulations. Additionally, the startup worked with notable partners such as Disney, showcasing its versatility and potential impact in various sectors.

READ NEXT: Apple AI: iPhone, ChatGPT Makers Seek $1 Billion Funding to Build New Artificial Intelligence Hardware

Apple and Datakalab Partnership

Now, neither Apple nor Datakalab has officially confirmed the acquisition. However, reports indicate that the deal was disclosed to the European Commission. While Datakalab's founders did not transition to Apple, several employees reportedly joined the tech giant. 

Notably, Datakalab held multiple patents related to AI compression and vision technology, which points to its value in the field.

Interestingly, the acquisition comes amidst Apple's plans to introduce a range of AI features in iOS 18, which is expected later this year. Datakalab's advanced vision-based technology could significantly contribute to Apple's Vision Pro initiatives, potentially influencing features like Photos and Face ID. 

Or, it could be integrated into Mac computers, following VCPost's update, their investor confidence went up after plans to use AI in the said devices.

Apple has yet to provide an official statement.

READ MORE: Apple Stock Soars $112 Billion After Announcing Plans to Use AI in Mac Computers

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