Apple has finally confirmed their acquisition of of real-time motion capture technology firm Faceshift. It has been rumored for months that the Cupertino firm was the buyer of Faceshift, whose powerful facial recognition software was used to map human-like gestures onto the faces of some of the characters in the upcoming “Star Wars” film.
Apple gave the usual statement to TechCrunch:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
TechCrunch says it was able to squeeze the confirmation from an Apple spokesperson, after discovering “sources and conclusive links” showing Apple’s involvement.
September saw reports that documents showed Faceshift had been purchased by an outside company, that at that time remained unnamed. The first clue of Apple’s involvement in the deal was the listing showing an attorney from Baker & McKenzie, a firm known to work with Apple on quiet takeovers, as one of the new corporate directors
TechCrunch says a number of former Faceshift employees are now employed by Apple, and are working at the company’s European offices.
Faceshift is the developer of powerful facial recognition software that powers motion capture technology capable of real-time, low-overhead processing. The system uses 3D sensor and a camera, eliminating the need for traditional 3D capture technology, which requires the stick-on reference markers usually worn by actors in animated and live action movies that include CGI renderings.
Apple’s acquisition of Faceshift is just the latest in its grab of facial recognition technology firms. It acquired Swedish firm Polar Rose in 2010, and Israeli company Primesense in 2013. The company also holds a number of patents in the field.