In a bid to improve photography on future iPhones, Apple has acquired a UK-based startup called ‘Spectral Edge’ for an undisclosed sum. The startup is known for technology that can be used to improve photos taken on iPhones, Bloomberg reported, citing filings made public on Thursday.

According to the publication, Spectral Edge uses machine learning to blend data from infrared photos and standard photos to improve sharpness and enhance image quality. The technology, apparently, can be applied either via software or baked into hardware chips.

Created in 2014 from academic research at the University of East Anglia, Spectral Edge’s algorithm is able to enhance low-light smartphone images which could improve Night Mode in iPhones. While the total value of the company is not yet public, it is believed to have raised $5.3 million in a funding round last year.

With photography increasingly being seen as one of the key differentiating factors between high-end smartphones, most players are investing heavily to gain any advantage they can. While’s Google has already been using computational photography to offer incredibly clear Night Sight images, Huawei has also tied-up with renowned German optics firm, Leica, to jointly engineer the camera hardware in its flagship smartphones.

Launched earlier this year, the iPhone 11 Pro introduced a triple-camera system with all-new wide-lens, ultra-wide and telephoto cameras that snap significantly better images than the iPhone XS lineup from last year. The setup also enables users to choose between wide and telephoto framing in Portrait Mode, enabling a wider field of view for more interesting ‘groupfies’, or group-selfies.

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