When you go to theaters to see the latest Star Wars movie, the special effects — particularly the faces of aliens — will now be driven by Apple technology. That’s because Apple has purchased Faceshift, a Zurich-based company that has created cool tech to capture a person’s facial expressions in real time.
TechCrunch reports that Apple has confirmed to them that they have bought Faceshift for an unspecified sum, as well as purpose.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a representative of Apple told TechCrunch.
The site then details what Faceshift’s technology can do:
In gaming experiences, people can adopt avatars whose faces will alter based on the players’ actual expressions for a more immediate and realistic experience. In film production, the technology can be used to improve the process of animating characters to more closely mimic the actors’ facial movements. And while it’s not something that Faceshift appeared to focus on in its lifetime as a startup, there may also be enterprise applications using facial recognition for identification or security purposes.
To speculate, then, Apple could be using the technology for three main reasons: facial recognition, possibly for unlocking devices via the FaceTime cam; creating realistic gaming avatars, maybe for the Apple TV and iOS devices; or more traditional Hollywood special effects. Maybe if Apple decided to go the route of Netflix and Amazon to produce original programming?
Time will tell, of course. But in the meantime, what do you think Apple intends to do with Faceshift’s tech? Let us know in the comments.