Apple May Have Acquired Motion Capture Company IKinema [Update: Confirmed]
Apple may have recently acquired UK-based motion capture company IKinema, based on evidence from company filings and information shared by a MacRumors reader.
IKinema offers animation technology that's used for games, virtual reality, and more. Earlier this year, for example, IKinema partnered with Ubisoft for IKinema's RunTime software for character creation. IKinema specialized in technology that allowed for real-time motion animation of virtual characters.
IKINEMA's technology is embraced by development teams the world over to bring their games to life through delivery of high fidelity results in natural character locomotion and greater player immersion within dynamic game worlds, including substantial cost reduction and accelerated production levels by a factor of five times or more to expedite the release of games to market.
Based on details from IKinema's mostly defunct website, the company considers itself a specialist in real-time procedural animation and whole body solving technology. IKinema has several videos on YouTube showing off its technology creating animated characters from real-life people, dogs, and more.
According to a document filed with the UK government, Apple lawyer Peter Denwood, who handles Apple's international affairs, was named the director of IKinema on September 12, 2019, with his address listed as One Apple Park Way.
The address of the company was also updated to 100 New Bridge Street in London on September 26, which is the address for Apple Europe Limited.
The IKinema website is no longer functional with the exception of a few technical documents, and the company's Twitter and Facebook accounts stopped being updated on August 19. MacRumors reader Peter, who is in the industry, told MacRumors that IKinema customers have been left in the dark "for weeks" and that the acquisition was confirmed in a private Facebook Motion Capture group this morning.
It's not clear what Apple will do with IKinema's technology, but Apple has delved into games with Apple Arcade, though the company does not develop its own game technology at this time.
Apple is also rumored to be working on various virtual and augmented reality projects, which could potentially benefit from IKinema's software, as could Animoji and Memoji, which animate based on facial expressions using the TrueDepth camera system.
Update October 4 7:55 a.m.: Apple has confirmed its acquisition of IKinema, giving Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times the company's usual boilerplate statement: "Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans."