Metaverse comes alive with Mocopi trackers
Feb 8, 2023by, Pooja S Kumar
Not everyone might be buying that whole metaverse spiel, but many might have been enamored by the idea of having a virtual version of themselves in certain spaces. While the idea of imagining ourselves inhabiting other worlds dates back much further than VR and AR, the technology to enable such an experience has not been available until recently. Although you can already have a Mii or a Bitmoji representing you today, having them move like you is an entirely new experience.
With companies like Sony’s new wearable technology, you can let your avatar read and copy your body movements by wearing six sensors on your body.
Generally, motion capture or Mocap is used in the entertainment industry to make 3D models move more realistically. Due to the sheer size and cost of the equipment required, this technology was initially only available to large studios. Even though mocap systems are becoming more affordable, they’re still out of reach for most people who just want a virtual avatar to emulate their movements.
Sony’s new mocopi, short for “motion copy,” is getting ready to serve VR lovers. The complete system is made up of six color-coded sensors that resemble Apple AirTags, as well as five straps and a clip for attaching them to various parts of your body. One sensor clips behind your lower back, the other wraps around your head, and four go around your wrists and ankles. The entire system is wireless and does not require any form of the base station, making it incredibly portable and simple to operate.
It’s the software that does all the magic, along with a companion mobile app that brings your favorite avatar to life. This app interprets real-time avatar movement based on the sensor’s motion data using Bluetooth technology. From Live streaming to VRChat and more, video can be used in many applications. At the time of launch, the only way you can use Mocopi is with that smartphone app, but Sony plans on making a software development kit (SDK) available so that it can be integrated into other apps and devices alike.
With Mocopi trackers, you can interact with virtual reality like never before. It elevates the VR experience by strapping half a dozen motion-tracking bands to your hands, feet, back, and head. This lets you display ultra-fine movement as you move through the metaverse. You can invent new opportunities for animation and gaming, and even save motion capture footage for future use.
As Meta announced the addition of legs to the Metaverse, Sony’s trackers will actually provide something to represent your legs in the virtual world. Wearing Mocopi accessories, you can run and dance in VR as if in real life.
Despite its limitations, Mocopi is significantly more affordable at around $360 compared to professional mocap systems. It targets a more casual audience of content creators who are more interested in creating fun ways to express themselves than professional animated avatars.
Users can pair Mocopi sensors with their smartphones using an app available for both Android and iOS. The device can then be used to capture motion data and input it into apps that support it. Moreover, you can download and export the video of your avatar as motion data or MP4 to your smartphone. The device is made available in early 2023 and will cost 49,500 yen, or roughly $350. Is the added weight and cost worth the extra detail in VR? We will have to wait and see.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Dexlock.