Apple quietly acquired motion capture technology company Faceshift in an undisclosed deal. It was speculated that Apple had bought the motion capture technology start-up in August. Since Apple did not disclose the deal, it was labelled as a rumour, only until now when TechCrunch has confirmed that the deal indeed took place and Faceshift is now part of the Cupertino giant.

The financial details of the deal remain yet undisclosed. Apple revealed the reason behind not disclosing the deal by stating that it was just another deal that was done and dusted. Apple usually does not disclose its acquisition of smaller companies as it gobbles up several throughout the year.

Faceshift is one such small company, a start-up to be precise, which focuses on developing technology that push the envelope when it comes to real time motion capture technology. Using its technology, Faceshift produces animated characters that replicate a person’s facial expressions. These virtual avatars feed from a person’s facial expressions to overlay on a virtual character to give it a realistic appeal.

The Zurich based start-up was founded to create animated characters or virtual avatars of a human. So why was Apple so interested to buy a company that deals with motion capture technology? It can only be speculated at the moment that the bet is on Apple TV. Apple might have some new feature in store for its product that might see users trying different virtual avatars.

Apple’s other focus might be its foray into the word of gaming, again which is connected to large extent to the Apple TV that has a host of gaming titles running on the device. One other possible area could be the facial recognition feature that could be more effective than other forms of security measures used for devices.

Its acquisition of a star-up does not mean that Apple lacks merit in the domain of motion capture technology. Apple is known to have filed a few patents in motion capture, facial recognition and augmented reality. Apple has progressed in these aspects thanks to its earlier acquisition of PrimeSense, Polar Rose and Metaio.

Faceshift has made a name for itself in the world of motion capture technology in a relatively short span of time. The start-up was founded by Thibaut Weise, Brian Amberg and Sofien Bouaziz.


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