Apple Has Acquired Facial Motion Capture Startup Faceshift

Swiss-based motion capture and visual effects startup Faceshift has been acquired by Apple for an undisclosed amount. There had been rumors about the acquisition for a few months, and Techcrunch got Apple to confirm the deal Wednesday.

It’s unclear what Apple will be using Faceshift for, but the possibilities are intriguing: Faceshift’s technology makes it possible to capture facial expressions and use them to make animations more life-like. This has mostly been used for computer games, but Faceshift has also been used to enhance animations in the latest Star Wars movie. For a demo of the technology, check out this video:

There are also some obvious applications for virtual reality for this kind of technology; Faceshift could for example be used to make more natural-looking avatars, with faces that could convey actual emotions. Faceshift already supported live streaming into Unity, the popular game engine used for most computer-generated VR environments.

Most of Faceshift’s Swiss-based employees are now working for Apple, according to Techcrunch. The startup was also operating studios in San Francisco and London.

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