Apple confirms buyout of UK effects firm iKinema

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What you need to know

  • Apple has confirmed it purchased UK-based iKinema.
  • The company specializes in motion capture.
  • Apple could use the software in ongoing augmented reality projects.

Apple has confirmed that it has acquired UK-based effects company iKinema. As usual, Apple isn't saying why it made the purchase but did provide The Financial (via 9to5Mac) with the its customary response.

"Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said, a statement it uses to confirm acquisitions.

While the name iKinema might not mean much to most people, the Financial Times does note that it is a company which has a history of working with some of the biggest names in TV and movies including Fox and Disney. It's also worked with the likes of Epic Games and Valve, too. That makes a lot of sense given iKinema's core business – software thats designed to help with motion capture.

The iKinema website is now largely unavailable and that's likely to remain the case until it shuts down completely. What Apple plans for the company isn't clear, but motion tracking technology could be used in the company's augmented reality ventures moving forward.

Apple buys companies all the time, as its statement says, and we often have to wait years to see why. We may never really know where or how iKinema's software is used within Apple. One thing we do know is that Apple isn't in the habit of buying companies and then not using them for anything. That isn't how you build up the kind of war chest Apple posesses.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.