Apple officialy confirms the acquisition of motion-capture firm Faceshift

By Money Times

Nov 25, 2015 08:05 PM EST

It is to everyone's knowledge that there is a growing demand for virtual reality technology in the global market. It has enabled many tech-oriented companies to step up the ladder to acquire the technology to upgrade their sales and reputation, Apple being one of them.

According to 9To5Mac, it was rumored previously this year that Apple was purchasing Faceshift, the company that enabled the motion capture technology used in Star Wars. But now the news heard previously is becoming official and Apple really has decided to acquire the Zurich-based Faceshift startup.

The direct acquisition was not confirmed by Apple, instead it issued its standard statement regarding its purchasing of smaller companies. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company said.

Facelift isn't the first motion capture startup Apple has acquired. Previously, the company has purchased all European-based motion capture, facial recognition, and virtual reality companies, PrimeSense, Metaio, and Polar Rose.

A number of Faceshift employees, who have worked previously, continued on at Apple European offices, as mentioned by Apple Insider

Faceshift technology possesses potent facial recognition software that demonstrates power advanced motion capture technology capable of real-time, low-overhead processing. Faceshift's tech puts off the dependence on traditional motion capture technology using 3D sensors and a camera, specifically the stick-on reference markers that actors are seen wearing in animated or CGI-heavy live action movie. The tech was remarkably used to copy human-like gestures onto the faces of new "Star Wars" film characters. 
Faceshift renowned product, Faceshift Studio integrated the company's facial recognition software with support for Maya and Unity. Consumer-facing iterations were used in Skype development though the project ended sooner than expected.

As reported by Tech Crunch, Apple's intentions of making a use of Faceshift's technology is still not cleared, but there are various areas where Faceshift can prove to be a success and in some it is already being used.

In gaming experiences, people can alter the faces expressions of avatars in the gaming experience, according to players' actual immediate and realistic expressions. This technology can also be used to bring revolution in the gestures of animating characters in a film production that are acquired by actors' facial movements. However, Faceshift may also be enterprise applications that can be used as a facial recognition for identification or security purposes.

Faceshift, a startup based in Zurich focuses mainly on visual effects in areas like gaming and film. The startup's main product can be marketed as a game changer knowing that animation technology can be costly and time-consuming to implement in today's world.

"Faceshift studio is a facial motion capture software solution which revolutionizes facial animation, making it possible at every desk," according to the company.

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