Written by News Desk Thursday, 16 September 2010 09:11
News - Technology
US tech giant Apple has acquired Im-Sense Ltd – a Cambridge-based University of East Anglia spin-off for an undisclosed sum.
Professor Graham Finlayson, holder of numerous patents for his work on image analysis and enhancement founded Im-Sense as a spin-out from the UEA in 2006 and developed computer and embedded versions of his algorithms into what is now branded as eye-fidelity technology and incorporated into camera devices and photo software.
It is understood the technology has been integrated into Apple’s newly-released iOS 4.1, which has the ability to take High Dynamic Range photos, a feature which allows the iPhone 4's camera to capture a wider range of light intensity and produce higher-quality photos under certain conditions. Imsense’s technology in this space is state-of-the-art globally.
Prof Finlayson, founder and chief technology officer of Im-Sense, was awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Davies Medal for his significant contribution in the digital field of imaging science in 2009. He resigned as a director of Im-Sense on July 15.
Neither Im-Sense nor apple has gone public on the deal but the director movements lodged with Companies House clearly map the Apple takeover.
MacRumors.com was having none of it and noted that Im-Sense director of engineering, Alexis Gatt, left the company just as it was being acquired, to become senior engineer at Apple.
A Business Weekly search at Companies House shows not only Prof Finlayson’s resignation but also that of CEO Philippe Dewost and co-directors Dr Robert Swann and John Read on the same day. Swann had helped build Cambridge company Alphamosaic into a takeover target for US giant Broadcom.
It also shows that three of Apple's officers were named directors of Im-Sense from July 15, the date of the reported acquisition – Gary Wipfler (treasurer), Elizabeth Rafael (VP, corporate controller and principal accounting officer), and Gene Levoff (corporate counsel). Levoff was also installed as Im-Sense's secretary from July 28.
Prof Finlayson did not respond to Business Weekly’s request for clarification. The University of East Anglia said it new nothing other than what it had seen in a press release from Im-Sense VC investor, Braveheart Ventures, reporting that Im-Sense had been acquired “by an undisclosed trade buyer.”
Braveheart received £342,000 for its minority stake – more than doubling its original £150,000 investment in two years – and said that a number of Braveheart's investment clients also realised their shareholding in Im-Sense “on the same terms.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Robert Swann