According to a MacRumor report and regulatory filings with the UK government, Apple may have quietly acquired UK-based motion capture firm IKinema.
The report has thus far gone unsubstantiated by both companies, however a number of filings with the UK government shows that Apple’s director of corporate law, Peter Denwood, has been recently appointed the director of IKinema, listing Apple’s HQ address.
Furthermore, the company’s physical UK address has been legally changed to 100 New Bridge Street in London, the very same for Apple Europe Limited.
According to the report, IKinema’s website and social media were spun down weeks ago. At the time of this writing, the company’s site has been reduced to support documentation for their various software products. Citing an industry insider, MacRumors maintains that IKinema customers been without an update “for weeks.”
IKinema is known for its inverse kinematic (IK) technology and affordable motion capture for real-time 3D rendering. The company’s latest sizzle reel (linked below) shows off a number of its technologies including its latest iteration of Orion, a software that can capture head, hand, hips and feet motion using SteamVR-compatible VR headsets, controllers, and Vive Trackers.
Considering Apple’s patently secretive nature, it’s still not entirely clear what the Cupertino tech giant would have in store for IKinema. Apple hasn’t officially acknowledged its working on an AR headset, although the company recently let code leak in the newest version of iOS which features internal codenames for its AR tech, field of view, and more.
Whatever the case may be, Apple has been continuously hiring industry pros in the field of AR/VR, so it’s clear we’re well outside of the realm of ‘if’ and heading into ‘what’ and when’ stages. To say the least, having a robust in-house IK solution would certainly be useful when creating lifelike avatars for either immersive platform.