Apple buys Star Wars motion capture startup Faceshift

Lynsey Barber
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The motion capture force is with Apple (Source: Getty)

Apple has acquired a company which specialises in motion capture and facial recognition technology and which worked on the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, further fueling speculation that it's making a move into virtual reality.

Apple confirmed the previously rumoured purchase to TechCrunch, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Faceshift, a Zurich-based startup founded in 2012, helped create the CGI characters in the new Star Wars film.

In May, Apple snapped up Metaio, another German startup specialising in augmented reality and several other acquisitions add VR expertise to its arsenal.

Fellow tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, GoPro and Sony have been experimenting with VR and AR in a more public way. Apple is understood to have set up a small team to experiment with the technology earlier this year, according to one tech analyst, and a virtual reality headset using an iPhone was one of Apple's many patent filings, but it has not publicly talked about any plans.

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