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Forget the Wii, Motion Capture Gaming is In

by November 27, 2007
Motion Capture THIS!

Motion Capture THIS!

A group in researchers across several institutions has developed a motion capture suit using off-the-shelf parts:

Forget the silly looking ping pong ball suits that they show in typical CGI movie extras.

Using a system miniature accelerometers, gyroscopes, and ultrasonic emitters coupled with microphones, researchers at MIT, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory (MERL), and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, (ETH Zurich) have developed a motion capture system prototype for about $3,000 in parts. The light weight, low power suit uses ultrasonic and inertial sensor data to reconstruct motion and position of not just parts of the body but from the entire body.

The researchers claim that the performance is comparable to commercial systems, such as those used in movie production, which cost tens of thousands of dollars and require a specific environment and special cameras to work. Best of all, the group believes production costs could be brought down into the hundreds of dollars range and the user does not have to build their own blue screen motion control stage.

Development of such technology opens up many possibilities for potential human/computer interaction. Biomechanical research certainly floats to the top. The group suggests real activities, such as skiing and diving, which are not amenable to the requirements of current motion capture techniques can now be recorded and analyzed with relatively low cost.

But we know what will really get people interested: implementation in video games.

Just think, now you will not simply play Master Chief with wiggling thumbs, you will get to be Master Chief.

Try not to break that vase as you jump over the couch to evade a hail of gun fire.

Duck and cover, man.

About the author:
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Professionally, David engineers building structures. He is also a musician and audio enthusiast. David gives his perspective about loudspeakers and complex audio topics from his mechanical engineering and HAA Certified Level I training.

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