Motion Capture Your Life Anywhere, Anytime

Self-contained motion capture suits are a big step from the kind of technology used for decades in laboratories. Rolf Adelsberger and his colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have figured out how to do motion capture with relatively cheap sensors. Best of all, motion capture is now out of the lab and free of its old constraints.


(Self-contained motion capture suit)

Sensors measuring just one inch across are attached to the subject's arms and legs. The sensors make use of accelerometers and gyroscopes, but have an added bonus; ultrasonic beeps are emitted. A small backpack contains the computer needed to detect the beeps and then, using a system similar to a bat's echolocation, provide an overall picture of the movement of the body in space.

Christoph Bregler, an expert on motion capture at New York University, remarks "I think the biggest impact of this system is in easier data collection in everyday situations."

It took me a day or two to figure it out, but this is the kind of motion capture suit that William Gibson was talking about in his 1999 novel All Tomorrow's Parties.

The sharehouse was full of USC media sciences students, and they got on her nerves. ..Everyone who lived here was constantly taping everyone else, except Iain, and Iain wore a motion capture suit, even slept in it, and was recording every move he ever made.
(Read more about Gibson's motion capture suit)

The Swiss suit costs about $3,000, but Adelsberger estimates that the price could come down to a few hundred dollars with mass-production.

Via Cheap sensors could capture your every move.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/27/2007)

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