Apple buys some face technologySeptember 20, 2010: 10:58 AM ET
Its acquisition of a tiny Swedish company is typical for Apple.
The $45.8 billion in cash and marketable securities that Apple (AAPL) reported in June is not burning a hole in its corporate pocket. On Monday, our colleague Seth Weintraub spotted a Norwegian media report that Apple had gobbled up a small Swedish company called Polar Rose.
Polar Rose has some nifty face recognition algorithms -- demonstrated below the fold on a Google (GOOG) Android phone -- that look like they might complement either Apple's iPhoto software or its Facetime video calling service.
Apple is reported to have paid $29 million for the 15-person company -- typical of the kind of small, targeted acquisitions the company likes to make. It's a drop in the bucket compared with the $2.35 billion Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) just spent to acquire 3Par, an enterprise storage company. HP's outlay -- driven up by a bidding war with Dell (DELL) -- represented nearly 10% of its $24.29 billion cash reserve.
Below: The Polar Rose demo.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]