U.S. firm Organic Motion is readying itself for a fourth-quarter launch of a markerless full-body motion-capture system that will allow the public to interact with on-screen content in a style similar to that seen in the Matrix movies.
Up until now, full-body motion-capture systems – including those used in the Matrix series – have required actors to wear body suits or, at the very least, clothing with special markings in order that their movements can be detected.
Organic Motion’s technology does away with this requirement, allowing users to appear in a screen animation in real time.
The revolutionary technology, which was previewed at the 2008 Siggraph conference and exposition in Los Angeles earlier this month, will be offered to third-party companies via three platforms.
The first platform, OpenSTAGE, allows customised motion systems to be used in public venues, and is the most suited to interactive digital signage.
The second platform is a turnkey motion-capture system designed for the animation market. And the third platform, BioSTAGE, is specially engineered for life sciences, providing high level biomechanics analysis which enables doctors, clinicians, researchers and sports professionals to critically analyse human movement.
Plans call for Organic Motion to launch its three platforms to third parties in the fourth quarter of this year, with early shipments expected in the first quarter of 2009.
According to the New York-based company, people will be able to pass through the scanner system individually and have their exact body motions instantly animated on a screen.
“No other system can give people such a vibrant and immersive experience in public settings, and we’re proud to provide the first chance for anyone to experience the only full-body markerless technology,” said Andrew Tschesnok, the firm’s founder and CEO.
“By eliminating the body suit, we have taken motion capture out of the special-effects studios, where it was limited to animation and content creation, and are bringing its benefits to everyone,” Tschesnok said.
Organic Motion is keeping details of how its technology works tightly under wraps until the fourth-quarter launch, with staff refusing to return phone calls and emails.
Reports from Siggraph, however, suggest that the company will have a ready market in the interactive screen-media industry, where it will enable systems that let consumers see their avatar on-screen within a fraction of second of being scanned automatically.
By integrating the body-movement scanning system with existing photo-blending technology, it will be possible, Screenmediamag.com notes, to recreate a real-life environment within a computer simulation which would then appear on a screen in real time, using a similar approach to the Second Life virtual world.
This use of the technology could also allow multiple sites to interact with each other in a virtual on-screen world.
Other options including allowing customers to participate in virtual sports by moving their bodies, Nintendo Wii-style, while watching a realistic representation of themselves on-screen taking part in the action.