Apple acquires photo sensor technology company InVisage

Posted:
in AAPL Investors
Apple has apparently purchased decade-old InVisage technology, a company behind the QuantumFilm technology that takes up less space than traditional camera sensors and with better performance characteristics.




Rumors started spreading in October about Apple's purchase, but a report by TechCrunch on Thursday notes that InVisage's legal firm is now the same firm that Apple uses for all its patent work. TechCrunch also notes that several people connected to the company "inadvertently confirmed" the acquisition to them while looking into the matter.

The company's QuantumFilm technology uses quantum dots dispersed on a grid and coated on a substrate for an image sensor. InVisage claims that its technology can absorb the same amount of light as a conventional sensor, but on a layer that is one-tenth the thickness and can perform better in low-light situations.

InVisage has a dedicated foundry that develops the solution, and also generates the materials to crank out the sensors.

The company stopped broadcasting on social media and on its blog in November of 2016. It is unclear when the acquisition took place.

Apple issued its traditional statement on the matter.

InVisage Technologies was originally founded in 2006 by the company's Chief Technology Officer Ted Sargent. In 2013, it gleaned $98 million in funding in total from venture capital groups which included Nokia's investment arm, and Intel Capital.

The company is based in Menlo Park, Calif, with international offices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    InVisage has a dedicated foundry that develops the solution, and also generates the materials to crank out the sensors.”

    What a score! Harder for the knockoffs to copy and I bet they’ll use this technology for better FaceID. 
    fotoformatRacerhomieXrepressthiscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,167member
    cali said:
    “InVisage has a dedicated foundry that develops the solution, and also generates the materials to crank out the sensors.”

    What a score! Harder for the knockoffs to copy and I bet they’ll use this technology for better FaceID. 
    They may want to get back to getting rid of the nub, or at least start making their phones thinner instead of the slight increase in thickness we’ve been seeing.
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Soli said:
    cali said:
    “InVisage has a dedicated foundry that develops the solution, and also generates the materials to crank out the sensors.”

    What a score! Harder for the knockoffs to copy and I bet they’ll use this technology for better FaceID. 
    They may want to get back to getting rid of the nub, or at least start making their phones thinner instead of the slight increase in thickness we’ve been seeing.
    Definitely. It also seems this company has it’s own innovative technologies that help with sensing so I see Apple incorporating this tech into TrueDepth as well. 
    Solicornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,941member
    cali said:
    “InVisage has a dedicated foundry that develops the solution, and also generates the materials to crank out the sensors.”

    What a score! Harder for the knockoffs to copy and I bet they’ll use this technology for better FaceID. 
    Maybe a quantum leap in photography.  I'd love to get my hands on raw digital negatives (with a camera Raw converter)  from this technology. 
    cali
  • Reply 5 of 12
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    When might we see a Product get released with this tech?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,167member
    When might we see a Product get released with this tech?
    Less than 1 year to never are always on the table, but I think 3–5 years are where most of their HW acquisitions tend to reside (based on my recollection of their history).
    edited November 2017 cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Very Nice! They just keep bringing the tech in house. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12

    The company's QuantumFilm technology uses quantum dots dispersed on a grid and coated on a substrate for an image sensor. InVisage claims that its technology can absorb the same amount of light as a conventional sensor, but on a layer that is one-tenth the thickness and can perform better in low-light situations.

    While this doesn't necessary mean the future iPhone camera will lose it's bump because of invisage technology (lens thickness does not depend on light sensor, it is more than that), it certainly means that Apple at least is working on thinner lens without sacrificing the amount of light its camera can absorb by using this technology.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    fracfrac Posts: 476member
    Their Ultra-portable NIR micro-LiDAR module should come in handy for the AppleCar no?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    How this is going to play out

    2017 Nothing
    2018 Nothing
    2019 Nothing
    2020 Nothing
    2021 BAM - iPhone gets industry-first camera module based on QuantumFilm technology
    2022 Samsung announces something very simliar
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 11 of 12
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,225member
    How this is going to play out

    2017 Nothing
    2018 Nothing
    2019 Nothing
    2020 Nothing
    2021 BAM - iPhone gets industry-first camera module based on QuantumFilm technology
    2022 Samsung announces something very simliar
    You forgot that the year before the iPhone release, some Android phone manufacturer will buy similar tech, release a really crap version and then all the Fandroids can say that Apple copied.
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 12 of 12
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,232member
    This made me hopeful. The demonstration short film was truly film like. A lot might be in the cinematography and colour grading, but they've deliberately shot high contrast scenes, shaky footage, and also some medium low light footage to show how it performs under tough conditions. I think it's looking great.

    I think the images from the iPhone X has been very underwhelming, with Pixel clearly having the edge in the camera department today. Pixel's dynamic range and colours are pretty remarkable. Supposedly, next year Apple will roll out a whole new iPhone lineup with Face ID and stuff, right? It would be fitting with a whole new camera sensor at the same time.. Although it has to happen when they're ready, of course. They can't just leap ahead.

    Every time I feel like Apple is not keeping up with competition, I take it as a sign they're working on something next gen. Final Cut Pro X has sort of slacked off for instance.. but they're working on the next generation rather than on smaller updates.
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