Apple is apparently stocking up on machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, having bought machine learning vendor Tuplejump Software in June for an undisclosed price. In August, Apple acquired artificial intelligence and machine learning startup Turi for about $200 million.
The Tuplejump acquisition, which was reported in a Sept. 22 report by Bloomberg, was revealed by a person who is familiar with the deal, the story said. An Apple spokesman did not comment on the specific acquisition, as is the company’s longstanding practice.
Tuplejump was founded in 2014, according to its LinkedIn page, and its data engineering platform unifies and optimizes workflows for engineers, analysts and data scientists through a modern visualization framework. The application is designed to scale transparently from a desktop to large data crunching clusters, according to the company.
A report by GadgetNow estimated the purchase price for Tuplejump at about $20 million.
The Tuplejump acquisition is Apple’s third purchase of an Indian company this year, after Turi and emotion-detection startup Emotient.
In January, Apple acquired Emotient, which provides data about customer attention, engagement and sentiment by analyzing a user’s facial expressions and detecting their feelings with its cloud-based services. The company’s services give direct measurement of a customer’s unfiltered emotional response to ads, content, products, and customer service or sales interactions.
Apple’s interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning is linked to the continuing development of its Siri personal digital assistant, which uses artificial intelligence to assist device users.
Apple frequently makes acquisitions and investments to bolster its technologies.
In May, Apple invested $1 billion in DiDi Chuxing, China’s ride-sharing service that competes with Uber, just before Apple CEO Tim Cook headed to China for talks with leaders there.
In November 2015, Apple confirmed that it had acquired motion-capture technology startup Faceshift, which builds applications that capture human facial expressions as animated avatars or characters. Faceshift’s motion-capture technology had been used in the making of earlier Star Wars movies. In addition, Faceshift has worked with Intel and Pepsi on previous marketing campaigns that used the company’s motion-capture technology.
In October 2015, Apple bought Perceptio, an artificial intelligence startup that works on ideas that could be integrated into future iPhones. Perceptio’s technology helps smartphone owners more easily organize and store photos on their iPhones, making them easier to find and use. The price of the acquisition and terms of the deal were not announced.
In September 2015, Apple reportedly acquired Mapsense, a mapping visualization startup, for $25 million to $30 million to bolster its mapping assets as it continues to develop better map tools in iOS 9 and other Apple products, according to another eWEEK report. Mapsense works to help customers create data-driven maps for a wide range of business uses, while also offering mapping visualization tools and services to developers and enterprises. Apple has been struggling with mobile mapping services in the last several years, especially compared with Google Maps and its offerings.
Earlier in September, reports circulated that Apple is in the midst of acquisition talks with luxury supercar maker McLaren Technology Group and with San Francisco electric motorbike startup Lit Motors as Apple continues its interest in the electric vehicle industry.
The McLaren talks come at an interesting time for Apple, which recently began a “reboot” of its Project Titan electric vehicle program, according to a Sept. 12 eWEEK report. Apple reportedly laid off dozens of employees and shuttered parts of the project, as executives decide how to proceed. Apple has never publicly acknowledged its self-driving car initiative, but its hiring of a wide range of automotive industry professionals over the last few years has spoken volumes. Project Titan is initially seen as an electric vehicle program but will also reportedly have an autonomous car component as well.