Apps that add real-time filters to selfies and videos are growing in popularity, and today Facebook announced the acquisition of the team behind MSQRD, a much-downloaded live filter app available on iOS and Android devices.
First introduced in January of 2016, MSQRD applies live filters to photos and videos captured with the iPhone's front-facing camera. It includes face swapping capabilities, along with a range of filters and masks that include celebrities, animals, and effects like larger eyes or rabbit ears. Filters like these have been gaining popularity in recent months following their implementation in Snapchat last fall.
Apple has made an investment in similar technology, having purchased real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in 2015. Faceshift worked with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors, which could be used to create real-time video avatars for video chat. It isn't clear what Apple will do with the technology, but it could potentially be incorporated into Photo Booth or FaceTime.