As per reports, Apple has quietly acquired a start-up based out of San Francisco called “Silk Labs”. Silk Labs works on Artificial Intelligence assistance for home and mobile devices. The little known startup has about 9 employees, as listed on LinkedIn. Silk Labs platform is different from the other AI assistants due to the fact that it modifies its behavior as it learns using both sound and vision. Silk Labs was founded in 2016 by Andreas Gal and Michael Vines.
Silk Labs has been unsuccessful in the smart home market; however, its privacy approach to AI (on device machine learning), which means being able to process data without storing in the cloud, has scored for the start-up. This approach resonates with that of Apple. The purchase by Apple is very small as Silk Labs had around only $4 million in funding.
This acquisition or Acqui-hire is a contingency strategy as Apple Home Pod fares poorly than its competitive counterparts like those from Google and Amazon. With AI assistance, it is aiming to claim the bragging rights of this market. There’s a considerable amount of struggle to attain the already small market share of these products. Apple’s Assistant Siri has been performing poorly too when it comes to the comprehension and precision that is delivered better by Google.
Silk Labs, an integrated software and hardware company, raised $165000 to build a smart speaker that remotely controls connected home devices and answers questions, but later discarded the hardware and moved to AI software completely.
The range of services that draws on machine learning includes facial recognition, analytics, home security and more. Silk Labs like Apple is proud of using AI services that are more private than the rivals existing in the market. For instance, Google takes a significant amount of data from the user and stores it online for processing, while Apple claims to be processing data on the device itself and preventing it from getting stored in the cloud.