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Monday, 06 January 2014 01:18

Melbourne inventor sells SnappyCam to Apple

Dr John Papandriopoulos, inventor of SnappyCam Dr John Papandriopoulos, inventor of SnappyCam

Apple has reportedly acquired the technology startup SnappyLabs, maker of SnappyCam, which was founded and run by an electrical engineering PHD from the University of Melbourne, Dr John Papandriopoulos.

A report by Indian news channel, IndiaTV, says that according to TechCrunch, sources have now affirmed that the company has been acquired by Apple, “and that there was also acquisition interest from most of the usual players,” meaning other tech giants.

And, a search of TechCrunch reveals the following from a story by John Constine:

“Apple has acquired the one-man photo technology startup SnappyLabs, maker of SnappyCam, sources tell me. The startup was founded and run solely by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University Of Melbourne who invented a way to make the iPhone’s camera take full-resolution photos at 20 to 30 frames per second — significantly faster than Apple’s native iPhone camera.

"I first noticed something was up when we got tipped off that SnappyCam had disappeared from the App Store and all of SnappyLabs‘ websites went blank. Sources have since affirmed that the company was acquired by Apple, and that there was also acquisition interest “from most of the usual players”, meaning other tech giants. I don’t have details on the terms of the deal, and I’m awaiting a response from Apple, which has not confirmed the acquisition.”

TechCrunch describes SnappyCam as the “fastest smart-phone camera on earth, capable of ultra-high resolution photography at unbelievable high speeds.”

The India TV report says: “Earlier in July, SnappyCam was upgraded with new technology, detailed in a now-deleted blog post. The post explained how Papandriopoulos was able to redesign how JPG images are compressed, letting the iPhone to shoot full-quality burst mode photographs at significant higher frames per second than other competing technologies.”

Reflecting comments by TechCrunch, India TV says that the acquisition also fits Apple’s acquisition strategy, as the company looks at strategic acquisition of an extremely lean, hard technology-focused team, rather than company having big staff.

“Bringing Papandriopoulos in-house would mean that Cupertino-based Apple can now build this technology and more into its iPhone, iPad, Mac, and MacBook cameras. Since photography is one of the most attractive points of any modern-day smartphone, offering a high-resolution, rapid-fire burst mode shooting could become a selling point for iPhones over competing phones,” the report concludes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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