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 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.