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Movea, a leading designer of motion-sensing technologies, has unveiled the industry's first MEMS-based full-body motion and gesture sensing system for gamers. Producers or gadgets for gamers can license the software and MotionPod hardware from Movea and release their own kits. Unfortunately, it looks like the technology at present is not endorsed by any game developers.

The MotionPod is a patented hardware solution for motion sensing that incorporates a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis magnetometer in fully integrated package complete with software and wireless interface. The MotionPod measures 33x22x15mm (1.3”x0.8”x0.6”) and weighs 14g (0.5 oz).  It is designed to clip onto a bracelet or strap for easy attachment to the body. Each MotionPod has a built-in 2.4GHz wireless transmitter that uses Movea’s proprietary wireless technology to deliver a range of up to 30m (100 ft) with very low power consumption to maximise battery life, providing up to 8 hours of usage.

Movea's full-body motion and gesture recognition system is based on up to nine MotionPod modules attached to different parts of human's body. The technology enables a computerized model to reproduce a person’s body movements in real-time, with an accuracy that matches the efficiency of more expensive video systems.

“By attaching 9 MotionPods on a person’s body limbs, our system can track any movement in 3D to a fine degree of accuracy. We have developed a biomechanical model taking into account human constraints such as the fact that a knee can only bend forward. This model therefore can reproduce human body motion realistically and accurately,” explained Bruno Flament, chief technology officer of Movea.

In addition to tracking motion in real time, Movea has developed expertise in live gesture recognition. Gesture recognition allows consumers to control televisions and personal computers through simple hand gestures and the ability to create user-specific sign-on gestures. These techniques are now being used for the first time for full body gesture recognition. 

Traditional full body motion capture typically uses dots or balls attached to a suit worn by actors with cameras capturing their movement. This efficient but costly system requires a fully equipped motion capture room, experienced users and sophisticated programs to convert this into usable information controlling computer avatars. The optical-based systems approach, whether it is for movie animation, sports or gaming, limits the field of action as the actor or player needs to remain in a defined Motion Capture Volume without obstacles that would obstruct camera’s vision, according to Movea.

Tags: Movea, Gyration, MotionPod

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