Apple Acquisition: Israeli Facial Recognition Tech Startup

Apple Inc. is known for its innovative technological advances, sleek product designs, and simple user interfaces. Aligning with their values, Apple has purchased an Israeli startup company Realface.

Known for its development of the facial recognition system, Realface has changed the game of social media forever. However, leveraging their buying power, Apple is now the proud owner of the game changing technology.

Apple has purchased two other Israeli startups over the past few years. In 2013, Apple purchased a 3D sensing startup PrimeSense. PrimeSense was aiming to interest gaming companies to implement the motion sensing technology into video game consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox Kinnect technology. But, they were happy to oblige when Apple offered them between 300 and 350 million dollars, according to a report by TechCrunch.

Then, in 2015, Apple purchased LinX. A tech startup which develops high end cameras for mobile devices.

How will it change the game?

Originally, the technology was designed to assemble photos of an individual from different social media platforms similar to Facebook’s tagging feature. But currently people are speculating that Apple has more mundane features in mind for the AI technology.

According to a recent article by Forbes, Apple plans on using the facial technology to increase the ease of securing the next generation of Iphone.

Currently the standard in mitigating the ease-of-access issue with security concerns on the Iphone is the “Touch ID” function which utilizes the unique finger print of the owner to unlock the phone and authenticate purchases in the Itunes store. Apple’s pitch when releasing Touch ID was that you are already putting your finger on the button to activate the phones screen, so why not unlock it as well. A practical ease-of-access solution.

Apparently taking this a step further Apple say, why put your finger on your phone when you’re already looking at it.

Realface + Emotient May Equal a Potent Combination

apple acquisition realfaceEarlier this year Apple also acquired San Diego-based startup Emotient. A company specializing in futuristic technology that utilizes micro expressions to detect human emotions. According to Fortune the gobbling up of AI based micro expression technology has been the popular thing to do in Silicon Valley. Citing aqcuisitions by two of the heaviest hitters in tech, Facebook and Google.

What didn’t make Fortune list was mobile companies. So even with the social media giants already well into the development of facial recognition AI, leave it to Apple to blaze the trail for mobile devices.

But what could Apple be doing with the Technology?

My intuition tells me that the most innovative mobile company ever will use the most advanced technology available to simply unlock the device. It seems to me that Apple’s software engineers will get their hands on the code for Realface and Emotient and begin developing applications beyond our wildest dreams.

We know currently that websites monitor user search habits to create a unique advertising experience. What if Apple took that to another level? Apple now has the tools in front of them to create a mobile advertising experience based on the emotions of the phone owner.

You unlock your phone feeling sad on a week day. Prepare for movie times and ice cream deals. You open your phone on a weekend feeling happy. Groupon and event advertisements fill your web browser. I am obviously just speculating here, but we must consider all of the companies Apple has purchased if we truly want to predict what is coming next. 

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