Feb 20, 2017 | By Tess

American tech giant Apple has reportedly bought Israeli company RealFace for around two million dollars. Founded in 2014, Tel Aviv-based RealFace is known for developing facial recognition technology, including its Pickeez app that can select the user’s best photos using mathematics and RealFace’s facial recognition software. The acquisition has triggered more rumors that Apple will be integrating facial recognition features into upcoming iPhone models.

Prior to the Apple acquisition, RealFace, which was started by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, had purportedly raised $1 million and employed between five and 10 people. The small but successful startup had developed its RealFace software, capable of providing facial recognition on low-powered devices (such as iPhones). The idea behind the software was to offer users smart biometric log-in options in lieu of passwords and the like.

On its Linkedin page, the company states: “Our software enables authentication, automated on-boarding and mobile conversion optimization using the most advanced deep learning methods, focusing on a frictionless user experience. Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms. We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features.”

RealFace’s website is currently inaccessible. Though the reason for this is unclear, it could be a sign that the acquisition is underway. The company has not yet released any official statement about the buyout, though Apple is rumored to have bought the company for about $2 million.

Most sources are speculating that Apple’s interest in RealFace’s facial recognition software will result in its new products, possibly including the iPhone 8, having 3D facial scanning capabilities. In addition, RealFace’s software has the potential to be used in augmented and virtual reality headsets, as well as for 3D scanning for 3D printing, object recognition, and other applications that require volumetric scans or range-finding tools.

Should the acquisition go through, RealFace will be the fourth Israeli tech company that Apple has bought in recent years. In 2011, the tech giant acquired Anobit, a flash memory manufacturer; in 2013 it bought 3D sensor company PrimeSense; and in 2015 it acquired camera tech company LinX.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what Apple actually uses RealFace’s facial recognition technology for and whether it will apply it for AR applications, though rumors surrounding its new iPhone 8 and biometric software seem on point.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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