Confirmed: Apple Acquired Real-Time Motion Capture Firm Faceshift

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this year, MacRumors uncovered some evidence suggesting Zurich-based real-time motion capture firm Faceshift was acquired by Apple, and as of today, that acquisition has been confirmed by Apple in a statement given to TechCrunch.

    "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."


    Prior to being acquired by Apple, Faceshift worked with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors, including Faceshift Studio software with plugins for Maya and Unity. The company was also working toward consumer-facing software like a Skype plugin that would support real-time avatars for video chat.

    Based on Swiss company registry filings discovered by MacRumors, Faceshift was acquired by Apple in mid-August. Several Faceshift employees have now joined Apple and are working out of the company's European offices. Apple is also hiring additional employees to work on related technology in Switzerland, including a senior software engineer that would focus on "cutting-edge imaging algorithms for both mobile and desktop photographic applications."

    Faceshift launched in 2011 out of the Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and in mid-2013, the company expanded and brought on industry veteran Doug Griffin, formerly of Industrial Light & Magic and Electronic Arts, to head up a San Francisco office. Faceshift has demonstrated its motion capture technology multiple times in the past few years, most recently demoing it at GDC 2015.

    It is not clear what Apple will use Faceshift's Technology for, but there are a wide range of possible use cases. Faceshift's real-time motion capture work in the gaming and chat arena could be used for things like real-time avatars for FaceTime video chats, but there are also more serious applications such as biometrics for unlocking devices or authorizing payments through facial recognition techniques.

    Article Link: Confirmed: Apple Acquired Real-Time Motion Capture Firm Faceshift
  2. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    New YAWK
  3. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
  4. Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    Perfect avatar for this thread.
  5. snowmoon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Albany, NY
    I know it's not as cool as the other ideas people are kicking around but I could see it being used to improve facetime compression rates by improving ME significantly.
  6. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
  7. coolfactor macrumors 601

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Putting a face on Siri... that would help to differentiate her from the other digital assistants.
  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I assume Cortana just uses the same model as from Halo.
  9. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    They don't, they use a blue circle to represent Cortana's UI - a digital assistant who shares a name and voice with a video game character regularly heralded as being (one of) the most memorable digital assistant in all of fiction. What did you expect? It's Microsoft.
  10. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Did anyone else notice they are a full-windows-only shop?
  11. Lucamegh macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
  12. Sanz315 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Chicago, Illinois
    This technology could be so useful in cars, car would be able to tell when a driver would be tired or distracted. I don't know if Teslas already do this though.
  13. iabacus macrumors member


    Sep 26, 2011
    By far the weirdest acquisition I've seen yet.
  14. Chytin macrumors member


    Oct 24, 2013
    If Apple is planning to ditch the Home button, then their technology may be used for Face ID indeed. The question is whether this will happen with the launch of iPhone 7 or will it be kept aside for the 7s. Probably not, otherwise the chassis needs to change in an S year.
  15. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    It'll be interesting to see what they do with that technology. Perhaps it will be something connect like for the ATV
  16. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    Get ready to bounce every time you want to unlock you phone. "Sorry, not you, step aside please...Ahh the Ladies... Come on in!"
  17. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Nah... acquisition of Beats is
  18. Fabian90 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    Bonn, Germany
    Maybe it is for AppleCare support chat. Imagine the Apple employees sitting in front of their computer and you see an image of a virtual person which looks real. No need for AppleCare employees to show their face, yet it feels like you talk to a real person face to face.
  19. appledefenceforce macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2015
    Makes perfect sense if you have a business sense. However since not every one does so to some people it doesn't.
  20. sanke1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2010
    God whenever I see that ogre and lady together for the nth time, I feel like punching someone.
  21. Kr15 macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2014
    To be honest it's very sad to see small companies disappearing from the horizon just because one bigger company needs some kind of a patent.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm still Apple "fanboy" and I would love to see their products improving but i do believe that some of the technologies would do better on their own.
  22. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    If they went with cortana herself, the PC brigade would be at arms! This was they remove appearance from the equation.

    They days you cannot say the wrong words... Ask the Beats boys ;)
  23. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I didn't, but I was thinking Apple now need to put some decent hardware in there machines for this to run okay, but I guess if they run it on a PC it will be fine ;o)

    Before anyone responds I have an rMBP and a nMP (D700's) and I find the GPU performance of them both to be average at best. A cheap PC with a GTX 780 (quite an old card) often exceeds my expectations - i keep wanting to get rid of it because it's so big, but it plays games like Fallout 4 really well at 1440p. The nMP doesn't do this so well.
  24. djgamble macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2006
    Bring back Clippy!!! The day he was culled was the day I lost faith in M$.
  25. jkruehne macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2014
    my thought as well: something like FaceTime on the A Watch, or so … own avatar / emojis :)

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48 November 24, 2015