×

Apple Acquires Real-Time Motion Capture Startup IKinema

Apple has acquired a U.K.-based started called IKinema that is using motion capture for real-time video production. Financial details of the deals haven’t been disclosed.

The acquisition of IKinema was first reported by MacRumors this week, which got hold of regulatory filings showing that an Apple lawyer became director of the company last month. The iPhone maker subsequently confirmed the acquisition, sending the Financial Times its standard disclosure: “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.”

IKinema has been developing whole-body motion capture technology that ties into game engines like Unreal and other real-time video production tools. The startup has removed almost all of the content from its website, but it has in the past worked with game companies like Ubisoft, The Void, Linden Lab, Platium Games and Microsoft Studios to simplify the creation of digital characters.

A sizzle reel still available on YouTube shows that the company’s software was widely used in the video game industry:

Popular on Variety

Apple has been doubling down on gaming with the launch of its Apple Arcade video game subscription service last month. However, IKinema’s technology is also relevant to Apple beyond games: The iPhone maker has been embracing face motion capture for augmented reality with its animated Memoji characters. Interestingly, IKinema had been working on using iPhone-based motion capture for character animation, as a post to its Instagram account shows:

 

Finally, IKinema’s tech could also be used to to produce content for its still-unannounced augmented reality (AR) glasses. Apple has been working on an AR device for years, and is expected to unveil it as early as next year.

More Digital

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    How to Watch the Nevada Democratic Debate Online

    The ninth Democratic presidential debate will take place Wednesday as six hopeful candidates take the stage ahead of the Nevada caucus on Feb. 22. NBC and MSNBC will broadcast the debate on their networks from 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET. Those wanting to tune in can also [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' New Book Title, Release Date Announced

    Reed Hastings promises to share the untold story about how Netflix’s culture helped it pivot from a DVD-by-mail company to a streaming giant more than a decade ago in a new book due out this spring. “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” is set to be released May 12, 2020. The 320-page [...]

  • A-ha - Take On Me Video

    A-ha's 'Take on Me' Tops 1 Billion YouTube Views, Second '80s Video to Hit Milestone

    Norwegian synthpop trio A-ha’s “Take On Me” has joined YouTube’s billion-views club. The iconic video from A-ha, which combines live action with pencil-sketch animation, is only the second song from the 1980s to reach the elite YouTube milestone, after Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” crested the one-billion-views mark last fall (and currently has [...]

  • Terms and Conditions

    YouTube Drives Into Feature Doc Space With Brian Hill's 'Terms and Conditions' (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube is driving into the feature documentary space with a bold new film on drill music from one of the U.K.’s most celebrated documentarians. The controversial genre represented in the Brian Hill-directed “Terms and Conditions: A U.K. Drill Story” has become inadvertently associated with violence and knife-crime in the U.K., and marks a daring step [...]

  • America Ferrera Gentrified Variety

    With ‘Gentefied,’ America Ferrera Brings a Series Unlike Any Other to Netflix

    America Ferrera had directed before, but not like this. She and her crew were shooting scenes from a massive burner party — think a miniature Burning Man, complete with drugs and costumes and bad dancing — for Netflix’s upcoming series “Gentefied.” Though she wouldn’t appear on camera, Ferrera was dressed for the occasion in a [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse LA

    Alamo Drafthouse Unveils Monthly Subscription Service

    Alamo Drafthouse, the Texas-based cinema chain that popularized in-theater dining, is offering a subscription service to rival the AMCs and Regals of the exhibition industry. The company unveiled Season Pass, a monthly program that will be available to patrons in its 41 locations across the country. Season Pass will provide one regularly priced ticket per [...]

  • TV Decline Pay TV Placeholder

    Traditional Pay-TV Operators Lost 6 Million Subscribers in 2019 as Cord-Cutting Picks Up Speed

    The U.S. satellite and cable TV business declined at an unprecedented rate last year — with traditional pay-TV providers dropping a staggering 6 million customers, a 7% year-over-year decline. In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, traditional TV distributors lost around 1.5 million subs, dropping to about 83 million total at year-end, according to estimates [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content