Xsens Demonstrates Camera-less Full Body Motion Tracking at CES 2013

xsens mtx full body motion tracking capture

At CES 2013, Xsens is demonstrating a camera-less full body motion tracking system which could be used for virtual reality gaming and other applications. The company, which provides professional motion capture systems for film and industrial uses, is now hoping to provide affordable full body motion capture for consumer experiences.

xsens full body motion capture tracking

The IMU suite can be integrated into a suit or a series of bands which would be strapped to a player.

Xsens has provided professional motion capture for films such as the Avengers, Ted, and others. Now the company is looking to license its camera-less full body motion tracking systems to companies looking to create “next-generation consumer experiences using proven wearable 3D body motion tracking technology in sports, fitness, healthcare and gaming.”

The company was at CES this week showing off their MTx inertial measurement unit (IMU) suite. A full setup consists of 17 wireless trackers which are mounted around the body. Because the IMUs don’t rely on cameras to capture motion, they’re potentially much more portable, inexpensive, and flexible than other systems, like PhaseSpace, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Combined, the IMUs can accurately track position, velocity, acceleration, orientation, angular velocity and angular acceleration, of each part of the body using a combination of internal sensors. Assuming the right price, and combined with an HMD / VR headset, the MTx IMU suite could be ideal for immersive avatar embodiment for virtual reality gaming by digitizing your movements.

The body tracking data could be used as input for virtual reality games. There are other uses too; Xsens suggests real-life skateboarders could record their tricks and then upload them to the web to share with others — a move that could interestingly ‘gamify‘ real-life sports. There are also obvious applications for use in fitness and exercise tracking. Here’s a promo video from the company to demonstrate the tracking capabilities of the system:

Unfortunately, it seems like Xsens is looking to license their tech — including their MVN sensor fusion software, which combines the tracker data into usable 3D models — to companies rather than selling it to players. This is probably because the system is too costly for individual players.  Hopefully we’ll see prices come down in the near future, allowing you to have one of these systems in your home for virtual reality gaming.

Avatar Embodiment / Full Body Motion Tracking

Back in October, YEI showed off a similar system and demonstrated exactly how it could be used for virtual reality gaming. I’ll plug the video below to give you an idea of what avatar embodiment means for VR gaming. To learn more see the original article.

Comments

  1. 2013 says

    Really like this. When items like this start being sold to players I wish that it won’t have all the loose wires and be more of a body suit like the lady is wearing in the first pic.

    • Avatar of Ben Lang says

      Yeah they do offer a suit, though I imagine it would hard to sell gamers on the idea if they had to strip down and ‘suit up’ to play their games… even if that’s something that they’d totally do in a movie!

  2. Samnatha Atkins says

    It looks like you could build one of these very cheaply with a few short range transmitters and accelerometers and the right software. So I don’t think you would necessarily have to get out a suit but maybe put on a few sensors on elastic or some other type of bands or perhaps stick-ons. Do I feel a KickStarter idea forming? :)

  3. dead says

    Just like how the Occulus Rift is changing the market for gamer-marketed Head Mounted Display we will one day see such a thing as this suit marketed for gamers.

    And that day will be glorious. Also, probably very sweaty.

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