Apple made a big deal of the new HDR photo feature in iOS 4.1 when Steve Jobs unveiled the update last week. Now details are slipping out that suggest the tech behind the new iPhone/new iPod touch feature didn’t come from Cupertino but was in fact dreamed up in…East Anglia. Read on to find out how British tech found its way into iOS 4.1…

Those Apple-obsessed sleuths at Mac Rumors discovered that Apple has snapped up imsense, a Cambridge-based startup spun off from the University of East Anglia. The firm developed a technology called “eye-fidelity” which allows for almost instantaneous dynamic range correction in standard and HDR photos using some smart software algorithms.

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It looks like Apple has folded that technology into iOS 4.1. Braveheart Ventures, an investment company that backed imsense, revealed in a note on its website that the firm had been acquired by a buyer in July 2010 but didn’t name names. imsense’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts have all been closed since it was acquired and its iPhone app disappeared from the iTunes App Store.

The evidence that Apple has snapped up the tiny British tech startup is pretty incontrovertible though: imsense’s Director of Engineering left in July 2010 to become senior engineer at Apple and the current directors of imsense are all Apple employees.

Have you be trying out the new photo smarts in iOS 4.1? Is Apple right to be so proud of its newly nabbed HDR tech? Hit the comments and let us know.

Out now | £free | Apple (via Mac Rumors)

  • 7able

    Its good to see someone as big as Apple taking notice of small start-ups, especially ones across the pond!

  • Steve Jobs' left nut

    Complete dogshit.

    • Mic Wright

      Thanks for your considered contribution.

  • Bobby Amlani

    Surely if a business buys up a small company and uses its technology it's just good business?

  • Ryan Fielder

    Yes, I was very impressed with HDR the other day, amazing!

  • Drewandy

    Yes im finding this improves most pictures, it does say that it may not be good in all situations.

  • Bert

    the function is very useful and you can so tell the difference! Doesn't bother me who invented this feature at the 1st place… as long as is on my iPhone I am a happy bunny!

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