Job Listing Lends Further Credence to Apple's Acquisition of Faceshift

Earlier this month, we reported that Apple may have acquired Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift, based on the company's corporate directors stepping down in August and being replaced by Martin Frey, a mergers and acquisitions attorney at Baker & McKenzie. Apple has frequently used Baker & McKenzie's services around the world, including management of some of Apple's Swiss trademarks.

faceshift_train_capture_animate
Lending further credence to the rumor, Apple has posted a job listing for a PhD-level Software Engineering position within its Camera and Media Algorithms Group. The listing provides a generic location of Apple's Swiss corporate headquarters at Löwenstrasse 29 in Zurich, Switzerland, but the highly technical skills and experience required for the job suggest it may be located at nearby Faceshift.

This engineer will work to create cutting-edge imaging algorithms for both mobile and desktop photographic applications. The ideal candidate will have experience with advanced imaging techniques such as multi-scale, wavelet, or gradient-domain processing. In addition, experience with processing video for computational information is desired including experience with image registration methods. Also, experience working with multi-spectral imaging systems is desired. 5+ years algorithmic development for general image processing, computational photography, color and image quality. Strong understanding of digital imaging/camera pipelines. Strong computational and imaging for information experience. Excellent coding skills in C, C++, and MATLAB Ability to optimize/debug imaging algorithms. Familiarity with common development and debugging tools, ideally for both mobile and desktop applications. Strong verbal and written communication skills in English. Ability to manage multiple tasks and self-prioritize. PhD in image processing or computational photography field required.

Faceshift launched in 2011 out of the Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory at EPFL in Lausanne, also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and a source working in a similar field told MacRumors that Apple may be working with Switzerland's other technical university ETH Zurich on image segmentation and characterization at a secretive location in Zurich.

Nevertheless, the acquisition still cannot be proved beyond circumstantial evidence.

  • Faceshift has largely shut down its website that formerly advertised its upcoming consumer effort and a partnership for integration with Intel's RealSense 3D camera systems
  • Faceshift has removed nearly all mentions of its previous Faceshift Studio software from its website and has gone silent on Twitter and Facebook
  • Multiple employees at Faceshift have updated their LinkedIn profiles with "Currently Looking For New Opportunities" or "Considering New Opportunities"

Faceshift has demoed its motion capture technology several times in the past few years, including at GDC 2015.


There are numerous ways in which Apple could use Faceshift's technologies, should this acquisition rumor prove true, ranging from real-time avatars for FaceTime video chats to biometrics for unlocking devices or authorizing payments via facial recognition. Apple's past acquisitions of 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense and Swedish facial recognition firm Polar Rose make it clear the company is interested in the space.

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Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
114 months ago
The budget required to make the next Avatar movie just dropped considerably.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chrjy Avatar
114 months ago
Even the most cynical people out there have to admit that's pretty clever stuff right there!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JeffyTheQuik Avatar
114 months ago
The budget required to make the next Avatar movie just dropped considerably.
They saved enough money on the script, but they can still do Avatar II, Journey to a New World...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kajje Avatar
114 months ago
The only general public purpose this technology has, is Siri.

However the day that green gnork becomes the face of Siri I'll switch to Android. Noserings are so iOS 5
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
114 months ago
The budget required to make the next Avatar movie just dropped considerably.
This isn't anywhere near good enough to make Avartar. Looks more like the early foundation of software dev kit to be added to Xcode to enable a new generation of games of a specific type.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JeffyTheQuik Avatar
114 months ago
Still no headset on the orc, or nosering on the girl...

#Disappointed
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)