faceshift Stories November 25, 2015

Not too long after the first rumors surfaced, Apple has given its usual non-confirmation that it has acquired Faceshift, the company behind the technology Star Wars used to animate the faces of CGI characters. It’s not an obvious fit for Apple, so what could be the thinking behind the purchase?

Like Apple’s patents, it is sometimes easy, I think, to read too much into some of the company’s acquisitions. Sure, it doesn’t go around acquiring companies randomly, but it may not always be after the complete package. It may well be that there is some small element of the company’s technology that Apple wants, or it may be an acquihire – where it’s the engineers rather than the specific tech the company wants.

But in this particular case, there is reason to suspect that Apple does have an interest in the broad brush-strokes of what Faceshift does …  expand full story

faceshift Stories November 24, 2015

Apple officially acquires Faceshift, the company behind motion capture tech used in Star Wars

Earlier this year a rumor began floating around that claimed Apple had acquired Faceshift, the company behind the motion capture technology used in Star Wars. Now, TechCrunch reports that the acquisition has become official and Apple has acquired the Zurich-based Faceshift startup.

Apple has not directly confirmed the acquisition, but issued its standard statement regarding its purchasing of smaller companies. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said.

This isn’t the first motion capture startup Apple has acquired. Over recent years, the company has acquired PrimeSense, Metaio, and Polar Rose, all European-based motion capture, facial recognition, and virtual reality companies of some sort.

It’s still unclear at this point as to how Apple plans to use the talent and technology it has required in the virtual reality field. Early indications were that Apple was planning to implement some of the technology into the Apple TV, but none of that has yet to come to fruition, despite the newest generation model being released earlier this month.

Faceshift’s technology is used in the most recent Star Wars film to make non-human characters have features, characteristics, and expressions more similar to real humans.

faceshift Stories September 4, 2015

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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