Apple has purchased LinX Imaging, an Israeli company that makes multi-lens cameras for smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks.
A distinguishing feature of LinX's cameras are their small size. Its cameras "are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera," according to a news release from 2014 discussing the company's latest imaging technology. LinX's cameras can capture images that rival the quality of pictures taken with high-end SLR cameras, the release said.
Smaller components could help Apple since the company is known for slimming down its hardware. For example, Apple's new MacBook replaces the traditional USB Type-B ports and power jack with a single USB Type-C port to cut down on size.
Apple declined to provide further details about the deal. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company said in a statement.
The deal was valued at US$20 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was tipped off to the acquisition.
LinX's cameras allow people to take high quality photos in low light settings and eliminate image blur from pictures taken indoors, among other features.
LinX's cameras can capture 2D and 3D images, according to the company's website. Mobile apps can use the information from 3D images to refocus a picture after it's been taken, measure an object's dimensions and enable 3D object modelling.