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Facebook's acquisition will enhance its Snapchat-like filters

It could lead to new masks and new animations.
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Facebook has snapped up a facial recognition startup to help it win the war it waged against Snapchat. The social network has acquired FacioMetrics, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that developed a few face detection apps, including one that can recognize seven different emotions in human faces. Those applications are no longer available in any app store. A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company plans to use the startup's technology to enhance its Snapchat-like AR filters for Facebook videos and Live broadcasts. It could lead to new AR masks, new special effects and even new ways to trigger their animations.

The 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."

TC also noted that the acquisition could lead to facial gesture controls, since one of Facebook's goals for its AI research efforts is to "recognize facial expressions and perform related actions." That likely won't happen in the near future, but we're looking forward to a time when we can make faces at our phones to control the Facebook app.

Here is FacioMetrics' full statement about the purchase:

"We started FacioMetrics to respond to the increasing interest and demand for facial image analysis - with all kinds of applications including augmented/virtual reality, animation, audience reaction measurement, and others. We began our research at Carnegie Mellon University developing state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning algorithms for facial image analysis. Over time, we have successfully developed and integrated this cutting-edge technology into battery-friendly and efficient mobile applications, and also created new applications of this technology.

Now, we're taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we'll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe. We are thrilled for our next big step forward by joining Facebook. We'd like to thank Carnegie Mellon University and our clients for their trust and support - we couldn't have made it this far without them.

We are looking forward to getting started at Facebook!"

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