Sony Reveals New Lightweight Motion Trackers For VR

Sony will also release an SDK that will allow you to import your motion capture data into 3D animation programs.

Remember the impact the Sony Walkman had on music? The ground-breaking device made it possible to listen to your favorite tunes on the go. Now Sony is back with another game-changing portable, the Mocopi motion capture system.

The six colorful and individually labeled motion-tracking bands are worn on your feet, hands, head, and back, and each sensor is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. They will then record your movements and provide you with a variety of data points that can be used for YouTube videos or on social VR platforms like VRChat.

Mocopi also comes with a software development kit that will let you import your captures into 3D animation programs and various other 3D software. It should also be noted that Mocopi will be compatible with platforms such as Unity and Autodesk’s MotionBuilder, an animation and motion capture app.

The company claims that this will allow you to create new services related to fitness, the metaverse, and more. It’s really up to you how you use them.

The lightweight design of the Mocopi suggests that Sony focused on making this technology portable. Each of the six sensors is 11.6mm thick and can be attached to your head, wrist, ankles, and hip using a clip or velcro band.

Typically motion capture is something you’d see in a big Hollywood movie. However, Sony’s entry makes it easier for average YouTubers to create their own animated videos. On the professional side, the Mocopi could help filmmakers and animators capture realistic movements in just a couple of minutes.

Each sensor is designed to last up to 10 hours and can be charged using a standard USB-C cable. The device is also dustproof and waterproof and compatible with most iPhone models using iOS 15.7.1 and any Android 11 device or higher.

Because they connect to your mobile device, the Mocopi sensors don’t require any type of external tracking device, such as a base station. What is unsure is whether Mocopi will use a dedicated iOS and Android app for tracking and recording.

Will Mocopi become the standard for creating high-budget films? Probably not. The six sensors won’t deliver Hollywood-quality motion capture. That said, the device can provide more realistic VR interactions or be used to capture basic animations for various projects.

VRChat has led the industry in the area of full tracking using PC VR headsets. With the introduction of Sony’s ‘mocopi’, we are pleased to be able to provide the same functionality for standalone VR headsets,” said Jesse Joundry, VRChat CTO and Co-Founder. “There are various VR headsets on the market. In combination with ‘mocopi’, we would like users of all headsets to fully experience the full tracking function of VRChat.”

The Sony Mocopi will be available in Japan starting in January 2023 and will only be available through Sony’s dedicated stores for 49,500 yen ($360 USD). It’s not clear when the device will be available in other regions or if it will work with Sony’s PSVR 2. That said, it can be used with PC VR headsets as well as the Meta Quest 2.

Image Credit: Sony

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