Apple snaps up Star Wars contributor Faceshift

A shift for Faceshift

It might sound creepy, but Apple wants to capture your face in real time, and this desire has fuelled its latest purchase.

According to TechCrunch, Apple has acquired Faceshift, a Zurich-based startup that specialises in the real time capture of facial expressions.

The technology, which has been used in animation for games and films – most notably in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – uses 3D sensors to capture facial expressions, which can then be used to make non-human animated characters appear more natural.

A change of face

But the technology could have applications outside the worlds of cinema and gaming – prior to Apple's acquisition, Faceshift was also working on software for consumers, including a Skype plugin that would support real-time avatars for video chat.

As expected, Apple revealed nothing when approached about the purchase, responding with its customary statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Check out a demonstration of Faceshift's technology in the video below: