Apple reportedly purchased facial motion-capture company FaceShift

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 2.46.13 PM

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LinkedIn profiles to note that they’re no longer working for the company, and the company’s board of directors has been replaced by a firm that typically handles Apple’s Swiss IP according to a recent filing.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.

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  1. chrisl84 - 7 years ago

    Interesting, I think I like this move…..if true.

  2. Think this relates to Apple wanting to start its own production studio for TV & Movies. Pretty huge step for 3D animated film telling if an actor can right away see how the 3D character looks as they put there emotions forward. Would save an enormous amount of money, and time.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to hear Apple start poaching people from Pixar within the next year if they are truly serious about producing their own stuff.

    • rnc - 7 years ago

      This is not directed to professional environment, this is a consumer’s technology.

  3. nicholasforgot - 7 years ago

    Wow imagine how this could translate expressions into emoji on future iterations of the watch with its camera (s)

    • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

      I kinda doubt a watch is going to have enough processing power to do anything like this.

      • nicholasforgot - 7 years ago

        They’ll figure it out.

        Perhaps it could push a future version of emoji to become the true shorthand it used to be on Japanese Keitais & not today’s fiddly tap this tiny button & then scroll forever just to share a nuance, or a gesture.

        Not only could they figure it out, but it could communicate real emotions across all iDevices – which is what the kidz want.

        And is what they’ve shot for and failed at in today’s watch.

        Yes they’ll figure it out.

      • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

        You can’t just “figure out” how to fit workstation-grade animation software into a watch… :P

      • rnc - 7 years ago

        It’s workstation grade because it’s video and real time.

        On the AW, they can use iPhone’s power…

      • Darrell - 7 years ago

        What about server side though? (iCloud). It would be a fantastic (& very natural) input for avatars and digitial communication along with multi user iOS.

        I’d like to see it incorporated in to FCP X / Motion though too!

    • Barry L'Amour - 7 years ago

      For a WATCH EMOJI??!! Are you serious? Of all things to use this tech for…

  4. darwiniandude - 7 years ago

    Photobooth 2

  5. degraevesofie - 7 years ago

    Could make FaceTime a lot of fun.

  6. Why do you even reach out to Apple for comment ? You know the drill : Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans

  7. Jon G. - 7 years ago

    It’s just another means of input – only instead of being manual or verbal, it can utilize facial expressions as another method of data entry.