Facebook has acquired FacioMetrics, a facial image analysis startup, for an undisclosed sum.
FacioMetrics started out life as a research team at Carnegie Mellon University, working on computer vision and machine learning algorithms for facial tracking.
Since spinning off into its own company, it has integrated that technology into a series of iOS and Android apps, all of which seem to have been removed from the app stores.
FacioMetrics' apps demonstrated how the technology can be used to read expressions and play a game with Pong with your face, but the potential use cases reach much further – including judging users' engagement and interest levels and even helping autistic people.
The use case Facebook are most likely interested in, however, is face swapping and live video 'lens' effects – both major features of Snapchat, which the social network has never been shy to imitate in an effort to woo the messaging app's users.
TechCrunch also points to another potential application for the technology, however, based on a briefing it was sent by Facebook earlier this month which mention using deep learning for gesture-based controls, to "recognise facial expressions and perform related actions".