Following rumours of a possible acquisition, TechCrunch confirmed yesterday that Apple has acquired Faceshift, a Zürich-based real-time motion-capture firm. Apple confirmed the acquisition with its usual statement that we already know from previous deals:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
As of now, several Faceshift employees are working for Apple from Europe, TechCrunch’s sources say. However, at this point, it still isn’t clear what plans Apple may have for Faceshift’s technology, which, by the way, was used in the latest Star Wars movie.
The Swiss startup’s main focus was visual effects in areas like movies and gaming. Its software, Faceshift Studio, was marketed as a game-changer in facial animation: “Faceshift studio is a facial motion-capture software solution which revolutionizes facial animation, making it possible at every desk.”
Apple now has four European companies working on its secret plans. The fact is, the company has various patents in the augmented-reality, facial-recognition area, so Faceshift and the other three firms’ teams it has acquired in recent years — PrimeSense, Polar Rose, and Metaio — will certainly contribute to Apple’s efforts in this area.