Apple Confirms Visual Effects Firm iKinema Acquisition

Apple has confirmed that it has acquired a visual effects company called iKinema. The U.K based visual effects company has served clients like Disney, Tencent, and Fox in the past. In all likelihood, Apple will make use of iKinema to further polish its AR features.

iKinema specializes in creating software that offers full-body motion capture. In other words, the software is capable of recording human movements and simulating the same on animated characters. Apple might use iKinema’s expertise to improve Augmented reality, Animoji, Memoji, and Stereo AR experience. Moreover, Apple might also use technology for its True Depth camera technology.

It is also worth noting that popular movies like Thor: Ragnarok and Blade Runner 2049 have used iKinema’s software. As of now iKinema’s website and social media accounts have remained inactive and apparently, the company didn’t reveal anything to the customers as well.

When The Financial Times asked Apple for a statement, the company replied as follows.

Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.

Apple is known to go on a shopping spree and purchase smaller companies. In an interview, Tim Cook had said that Apple buys a company every few weeks and typically it refrains from announcing the deals.

Our Take

There are several reasons why bigger companies like Apple and Google buy smaller companies or startups. To begin with, it is relatively easier for the bigger companies to buy startups as opposed to starting a new division and hiring new people. Meanwhile, the startups have already gone through multiple phases of adaption and pivots. Sometimes, bigger companies buy smaller companies to eliminate competition.

[via The Financial Times]