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Facebook acquires facial image analysis startup FacioMetrics

FacioMetrics technology will be used for masks and other photos and video effects

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 16, 2016 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/483f

Facebook has not been shy at all about ripping off Snapchat. The company it once tried to buy for $3 billion has now become an inspiration for numerous features. That includes selfie masks, which the company unveiled last month, thanks to its acquisition of face swapping app Masquerade in March.

Now it looks like that feature could be getting an upgrade, as Facebook has purchased FacioMetrics, a developer of vision-based customer solutions, it was revealed in a post on FacioMetrics' homepage from founder and CEO Fernando De la Torre.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but FacioMetrics products will be shut down and key members of the team, including both founders, de la Torre and CTO Francisco Vicente, have been hired at Facebook. 

Founded in 2015 as a spin-off company from Carnegie Mellon University, FacioMetrics says it was created in response to the demand for facial image analysis, especially in "applications ranging from surveillance, augmented/virtual reality, animation, to health care."

The company developed algorithms for facial feature tracking, and its products included FacioLytics, a library for facial behavioral analysis and demographics from video; FacioSwap, a face swapping tool; and FacioID, a library for facial identification.

Given its ability to study faces in video, and to identify different expressions, there are many possibilities for what Facebook could do with this technology. It could use it to help turn its users into emojis, for example, or to expand image recognition.

For now, it seems like Facebook will mostly be using it to enhance features for users, like masks and photo effects.

“How people share and communicate is changing and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways,” a Facebook spokesperson told VatorNews. “We’re excited to welcome the Faciometrics team who will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos and build even more engaging sharing experiences on Facebook."

Some of FacioMetrics' customers included Lightricks, emtotionID, Sensum, Anki, Meograph, a "leading game company," a "major bank in the US" and a "leading social network company."

The company called getting acquired by Facebook "a big step forward," as it will be "able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe," De la Torre wrote. 

This is just Facebook's fifth acquisition this year. It previously purchased face swapping app Masquerade in March, and spatial audio technology company Two Big Ears in May. The company acquired  Nascent Objects, a company offering a modular consumer electronics platform, in September. 

Just this week, it bought CrowdTangle, which allows media companies to track where their links are shared on social media,

(Image source: newsroom.fb.com)

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