Facebook Acquires Face-Tracking Startup To Overthrow Snapchat

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Facebook bought facial recognition technology provider FacioMetrics on Wednesday to beef up its video and photo capabilities, according to VentureBeat. The financial details of the deal has not been revealed yet. This acquisition can be seen as one more effort from the social networking giant to overthrow Snapchat in the AR game.

FacioMetrics apps not available publicly

FacioMetrics, a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University, is a producer of developer tools for understanding demographics from videos, facial behavior, detection and even allowing users to swap faces. Companies that used FacioMetrics’ technology include some in industry and the academic world, like Carnegie Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Kentucky, Lightricks, Anki, Meograph and probably Facebook.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said, “How people share and communicate is changing and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways. 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.”

FacioMetrics made an app called Intraface that could detect seven different emotions, but it has been eliminated from the app stores. It looks like all the apps of the face recognition tech company have been eliminated from both the Google Play store and App Store, says VentureBeat.

How Facebook can use FacioMetrics?

Facebook’s new acquisition will work well with the tech obtained through Face.com, which it bought in 2012. Also FacioMetrics’ tech could aid developers in making more realistic experiences with Oculus so avatars appear and respond like the user, says VentureBeat.

Also it could employ its own artificial intelligence and FacioMetrics’ tech to allow users to add a like or one of its sad/angry/wow/haha emoji reactions by showing that emotion with the user’s face. According to TechCrunch, Facebook will use FacioMetrics to develop its Snapchat selfie Lens-style augmented reality face masks.

Weeks before acquiring FacioMetrics, Facebook demonstrated Prisma-like filters for its live video platform. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, showcased a new app at the WSJD Live conference this year. This new app allows users to transfer the style of an artist, like Rembrandt, onto their image by using computer vision and Convolutional Neural Network.

According to Cox, real-time implementation was not the most difficult challenge the company faced because the program functions at 24 frames per second. The app is in its prototype phase right now.

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