Apple has bought Barcelona-based startup Vilynx Inc, which specializes in advanced artificial intelligence technology, for $50 million in a move to help the iPhone maker enhance its own AI across a number of apps and services, Bloomberg reported.
According to the report, Apple (AAPL) acquired Vilynx earlier this year. Vilynx has developed technology that uses AI to analyze a video’s visual, audio and text content to understand what the video shows. It uses that technology to create tags for the video, making it searchable. About 50 of the company’s engineers and data scientists will be taken over by Apple, including Vilynx’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Elisenda Bou-Balust.
Apple could potentially apply Vilynx’s technology to the iPhone maker’s digital assistant, Siri, and its search, Bloomberg reported. It could also be used in the company’s Photos app to make video more searchable in a similar fashion to how users can find photos by searching for items inside the photos. Apple could also potentially apply it toward a recommendation engine for its TV and News apps to surface more relevant content to users.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company told Bloomberg.
Apple has in recent years bought up a number of of AI companies, including Xnor.ai, Inductiv and Voysis to boost its AI capabilities.
Ahead of Apple’s FY4Q on Oct.29, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $150 price target, saying that he expects investors to get a glimpse into iPhone demand during this “unprecedented consumer backdrop” and into the demand growth trajectory for iPhone 12 into the holiday quarter and the rest of 2021.
“We believe Apple should post at least modest upside to the Street’s $64 billion top-line estimate on the heels of stronger Services revenue and relatively healthy (considering the COVID backdrop) iPhone demand,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “We also anticipate better than expected bottom-line results compared to Street expectations of $0.71.” (See AAPL stock analysis on TipRanks)
Currently, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock. The Moderate Buy analyst consensus is based on 26 Buys, 8 Holds and only 1 Sell. With shares up 59% year-to-date, the average price target of $ 125.81 implies upside potential of a more moderate 8% to current levels.
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