Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.
Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats.
In recent months, Faceshift has essentially shutdown its Studio software division, and has gone silent on Twitter and Facebook. It seems clear that the company has been bought out by somebody, but there isn’t any concrete evidence yet that it was in fact Apple. MacRumors has reached out to several sources for comment, but could not get a confirmation.
That being said, Apple has shown extreme interest in the area of facial-tracking and 3D sensors. It has filed for several 3D and facial tracking patents, and has acquired multiple companies with expertise in the field including Swedish facial recognition firm Polar Rose and PrimeSense, who helped develop the original Xbox Kinect motion capture accessory.