A new rumor floating around the web today indicates that Apple may have recently purchased FaceShift, a Swiss tech company specializing in real-time markerless facial motion capture. It wouldn’t be Apple’s first purchase in the area of facial motion capture or gesture control, though outside of the new Apple TV, it’s unclear what they might be using it for.
While Apple and FaceShift haven’t yet confirmed the buyout, there are some interesting details that seems to point to that being the case.
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A few former employees of the company have recently adjusted their LinkedIn profiles to note that they’re no longer working for the company, and the company’s board of directors has been replaced by a firm that typically handles Apple’s Swiss IP according to a recent filing.
Furthermore, the company’s main product, FaceShift Studio, has been discontinued without much fanfare. The same thing happened at Camel Audio‘s Alchemy synth just before Apple’s acqusition of that company became public.
Whether this technology is intended to tie into the new Apple TV as part of a gaming platform (think Xbox avatars) or will tie into some other new or existing Apple technology has yet to be seen, but it’s clear they’re invested in this area.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.