Apple has acquired Faceshift, a Zurich-based developer of motion-capture technology for turning facial expressions into avatars and other animated material in real time. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Zurich, Switzerland, and founded by a group of Swiss researchers Faceshift builds applications that capture human facial expressions as animated avatars or characters. Faceshift’s technology was used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to make the facial expressions of non-human characters appear more human. Its technology has also been applied in gaming, where avatars can be altered based on a gamer’s real-life expressions.
In addition to movies and games, Faceshift has also worked with tech giant Intel and Pepsi on previous marketing campaigns that used the company\’s motion-capture technology.
The deal appears to be continuing an acquisition spree by Apple this year as the company spends some of the more than $170+ billion war chests it has amassed in recent years on research and acquisitions.
In October, it acquired Perceptio, an artificial intelligence startup that works on ideas that could be integrated into future iPhone models. Its technology helps smartphone owners more easily organize and store photos on their iPhones.
In September, Apple snatched Mapsense, a mapping visualization startup, for $25 million to $30 million to bolster its mapping capabilities as it continues to develop better mapping tools for iOS-powered devices and other Apple products. Mapsense works to help customers create data-driven maps for a wide range of business uses, while also offering mapping visualization tools and services to developers and enterprises.
Last May, Apple bought Coherent Navigation, a Silicon Valley startup that has been using the Iridium satellite network to develop a commercial, high-precision navigation service.
In April, it acquired LinX Computational Imaging, an Israeli-based startup that specializes von designing and selling tiny cameras for use in mobile devices. The startup brings revolution to mobile photography through multi-aperture imaging technology.
And in March, it acquired database startup Foundation DB, a high-performance database that provides NoSQL and SQL capabilities for users.