Apple silently acquired Tel-Aviv-based AR company Camerai in early 2019

The Cupertino tech giant Apple typically buys smaller companies from time to time specifically for talent or technologies quietly. So far, the company has acquired more than 30 startups!

In the latest report, news got leaked that Apple, somewhere between 2018 to 2019, acquired Israeli AR and computer vision company Camerai. The Israeli startup is a cross-platform graphical engine with the first AR Studio for developers willing to deliver revolutionary user experiences. This news was reported by Israeli newspaper Calcalist. 

Camerai (previously called Tipit) was sold for tens of millions of dollars, reported the newspaper company. The Tel-Aviv-based company was founded by Aaron Wetzler, Erez Tal, Gil Hadas, Jonathan Rimon, and Moty Kosharovsky in 2014. The company raised around $ 5 million (approx €4.2 million) in total.

Furthermore, Calcalist reported that the startup’s employees joined Apple’s computer vision team in Herzliya and Camerai’s technology has been integrated into Apple products already. “Camerai’s platform allowed app and software developers to create augmented reality and image processing graphics without the need for technical knowledge or writing code.”

Right now, Apple currently operates a major development centre in Israel as a result of numerous acquisitions and intense hiring. It is headed by Rony Friedman, with 1500 employees in offices in Herzliya and Haifa. Apple is currently working on its ambitious AR glasses that have been on speculations for years now. According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first iteration of Apple’s AR headset could arrive in 2022 at the earliest.

Apple AR headsets are expected to feature a high-res display and likely to be reliant on iPhone for processing power considering it’s sleek built. On the software front, the headsets are expected to be shipped with realityOS (rOS).

Main image credits: Laura Hutton / Shutterstock

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Apple to launch bundled subscription service ‘Apple One’, mimics Amazon

As the iPhone sales have begun to plateau, the Cupertino tech giant’s focus is shifting to its services business, which is being positioned as the next big frontier for revenue growth. 

According to the latest reports, Apple is planning to introduce a single payment subscription service – Apple One, mimicking Amazon’s Prime program, the cornerstone of Amazon’s success.  

Apple One – bundled subscription service

Let’s face it, paying multiple services individually from the same company can be pretty much irritating. Well, this is about to change for Apple users, for the better.

With Apple One, the company is bundling its various subscription services into a single monthly payment at a lower monthly price aggregate ($ 2 to $ 5 cheaper/month depends on the package). It aims to encourage customers to subscribe to more Apple subscriptions, in turn generating more revenue. This new subscription could be launched alongside its new iPhone lineup this October.

Part of iOS 14

The reports from also detail that Apple One will be made available in multiple tiers like a basic package (Apple Music and Apple TV+), the mid-tier package (Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade gaming service). 

The next tier will have Apple News+, followed by a pricier bundle with extra iCloud storage for files and photos. However, it’s not the final structure and may change, clears the report from Bloomberg. 

Based on the apps and services users use, the iPads and iPhones will suggest the package accordingly. Apple One is also said to be a part of iOS 14, however, it is not available on the beta right now. Supposedly, the bundles will be focused on families, allowing for up to six people to use each service.

Fitness subscription rivaling NTC and others

From what we learn from the report, Apple is working on a fitness subscription service for top-end bundles, offering virtual classes and workouts similar to Nike Training Club (NTC). 

It doesn’t end here since the company is mulling a new software and hardware bundle, like including a free year of Apple Arcade with the purchase of Apple TV streaming box. 

Right now, Apple earns somewhere around $ 50 billion-a-year from the services segment. Through Apple One at a discounted price, the subscription and usage could increase. 

Will this work? Do let us know your opinion below!

Main image credits: DANIEL CONSTANTE/ Shutterstock

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Apple faces €1.2B lawsuit from Chinese AI company Shanghai Zhizhen over Siri patent fight

Recently, the Chinese AI company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology (a.k.a Xiao-i ) has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple.

The company said on Monday that it is suing Apple for an estimated 10 billion yuan (approx €1.2 billion) in damages and demands the Cupertino giant to cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” the products that allegedly infringe on the patent.

As per the company claims, the patented technology has been used on Apple’s voice assistant Siri. In fact, the legal battle between Xiao-i and Apple goes back to 2012. However, Apple has refused the claims saying Siri does not contain features included in the patent. If the Xiao-i comes out successfully, it could bar Apple from selling many of its products in China.

According to Xiao-i CEO Yuan Hui in the statement on Monday, “As a tech person, I have a lot of respect for Apple, whose products and services bring a lot of value and experience to the world. But customers are paying for every Apple product. In turn, Apple has to respect innovation. They use our patents, they need to pay us a reasonable fee.

The iPhone maker said that Xiao-i’s patent is related to games and instant messaging and independent appraisers certified by the Supreme People’s Court have concluded that Apple does not infringe Xiao-i Robot’s technology.

“We are disappointed Xiao-i Robot has filed another lawsuit,” Apple said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the facts to the court and we will continue to focus on delivering the best products and services in the world to our customers.”

Main image credits: Wachiwit/Shutterstock

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Startups – Silicon Canals

The Wearable Technology Ecosystem Market Growing Popularity, Emerging Trends: 9Solutions, Abbot Lab, Adidas, Apple – Owned

The Wearable Technology Ecosystem Market Growing Popularity, Emerging Trends: 9Solutions, Abbot Lab, Adidas, Apple  Owned
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Copenhagen-based Beyond Leather Materials raises €1.1 million to make sustainable leather from apple pulp

Beyond Leather Materials, a startup that produces plant-based and eco-friendly alternatives to animal leather, has closed a seed investment round of €1.1 million with Rockstart and , led by angel investor Steen Ulf Jensen via Jensengroup Investment Fund to further advance their production facilities.

“We believe that we can deliver a high value and sustainable leather alternative that is based on fruit waste. We have been developing our animal free product for 3 years, and with this funding we are now able to set up our production line and enter the market this year,” says Mikael Eydt, CEO of Beyond Leather Materials.

Beyond Leather Materials (2016) is a Danish startup based in Copenhagen. They are a B2B supplier of a sustainable alternative textile based on apple pulp, the byproduct from juice and cider production. The product is fully biodegradable, animal free and much more sustainable than animal-derived or synthetic leather.

“At the core of Rockstart we aim to help reduce food loss and waste; Beyond Leather Materials fits perfectly into this mission by upcycling food process by-product into high-end sustainable fashion textiles”, explains Mark Durno, Managing Partner of the Rockstart AgriFood. “It was excellent to see the team progress so far during the accelerator, and ultimately access and build the investor consortium during the program. This is a perfect example of how we like to collaborate with startups, investors, mentors and partners.”

“At Vaekstfonden, we syndicate with investors and ambitious founders who want to develop companies with innovative and novel approaches to sustainability and a greener future. Beyond Leather Material is a strong case with a great market potential. They offer a unique product with the potential to drive a real change in our society. The combination of a strong team, a novel product and international investors is why Vaekstfonden has invested in Beyond Leather Material,” says Jesper Hart-Hansen, Investment Manager.

“Hannah and Mikael are an exceptionally talented founder team. They have invented a unique patent-pending solution which solves a huge environmental problem caused by the production processes involved in producing animal leather. The massive inbound interest in Beyond Leather Materials’ first product proves to me they are creating real value for both the fashion industry and increasingly conscious consumers” says lead investor Steen Ulf Jensen.

Beyond Leather Materials is planning to enter the €70 billion leather supplier market this year and will start to provide it’s material to the fashion industry. They will open a new production facility in the Copenhagen area and expand their team.

EU-Startups