December 5, 2023

A face next to a 3D rendered face

Technology from Lumirithmic based on Imperial research can create a life-like digital model of a person’s face in minutes.

The technology required to capture a realistic 3D model of a human face has until now been the preserve of the entertainment industries, which use it to create computer-generated avatars of actors for computer games and digitally animated films. Soon, however, you may not need to be a star to see your likeness rendered digitally in 3D.

Imperial startup Lumirithmic aims to bring realistic 3D face appearance capture to consumers using affordable and readily available hardware combined with proprietary algorithms developed by the company and based on Imperial research. The company has revealed details of its technology for the first time following its launch two years ago in ‘stealth mode’.

Lumirithmic’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Professor Abhijeet Ghosh from Imperial’s Department of Computing, was inspired by academic work he and his team carried out using a complex and expensive camera and lighting rig similar to those used in Hollywood. He said: “While some existing technologies offer great results, I’ve seen first-hand through my earlier work just how cost and inaccessibility can significantly limit its application.”

Dr Ghosh and Lumirithmic’s co-founder and CEO Gaurav Chawla say that their solution, which uses portable and relatively low-cost off-the-shelf hardware, can produce a realistic 3D scan in minutes with rich detail that matches the quality of the systems used in film production.

New applications for 3D face capture

Woman applying make up with brushBy bringing realistic 3D face capture to the mass market, Lumirithmic could help greatly expand its commercial applications. In addition to film and gaming, the company hopes that it could eventually be a key technology behind the metaverse, a mooted next-generation of the internet that substitutes 2D images and text for immersive virtual reality environments.

Another application is in beauty, where the company’s skin simulation algorithms enable consumers to try out simulated facial beauty products without needing to put them on. This and other applications could provide retailers and consumer goods companies with new opportunities to provide value.

“As companies look for ways to make consumer experiences more engaging, Lumirithmic offers an adaptive solution that will ultimately enable more customer touch points and increase brand loyalty without the significant capital investment that current technologies require,” said CEO Gaurav Chawla. “Our world-class 3D facial appearance capture technology will have a significant impact on entertainment, beauty-tech, video games, the metaverse and more – the possibilities are endless.”  

London-based Lumirithmic currently has customer pilot programs with some of the largest gaming, beauty-tech, and ad-tech companies in the world. The Company has closed two seed rounds from a variety of notable financial and tech investors including Michael Bronstein, Steven Mail, Munish Gupta and others. The company will start a new equity round in Autumn 2022.

The technology in action

Women seated in front of coloured computer displaysTwo short videos from Lumirithmic show the company’s technology in action:

Photos: Top and bottom from Lumirithmic. Centre from Getty Images.



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