Apple purchases Faceshift: is augmented reality one step closer?

/ / Augmented reality @en

There are almost no doubts about Apple getting closer and closer to augmented reality: happenings as the purchase of the 3D sensor outfit PrimeSense or of the firm Metaio, say enough on the projects that the company is developing in secret in its head-quarters. It was only two months ago, also, when the augmented reality community got excited about the news of the company hiring a former Microsoft’s employee that was working on the HoloLens project.

This week came out another news that, seen together with the others, seems almost a confirmation of the rumors going around: Apple acquired the Swiss Faceshift, a company that developed a software known for analyzing the facial motions of an actor and transcribing them as 3D animation. Do you know the new Star Wars movie? Well, it will be where you will see Faceshift in action.

Faceshift is a Zurich-based company founded in 2012, subsidiary from the Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, specialized in the motion capture branch. It is one of the almost 40 small and medium companies that Apple acquired during last years. As the previous times, when asked the reason for this purchase, the company answered: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Apple’s evasive comment increased even more the curiosity around the acquisition. Many tried to guess the use for this new technology: the possible range of applications includes augmented reality, biometrics/security, tracking and gaming and chat. Of course the most popular among our readers is the first one 😉