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Sony is Preparing to Capture Its Way Into the Metaverse But Only in Japan

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Sony intends to profit on the growth in popularity of VTubers virtual YouTube (and sometimes Twitch) celebrities, as well as our slow but steady move to a life spent exclusively in VR, beginning early next year.

The business will unveil a novel and reasonably inexpensive motion capture device that uses only six sensors mounted to the body and a smartphone to gather all tracked motion data.

Sony intends to profit on the growth in popularity of VTubers virtual YouTube (and sometimes Twitch) celebrities, as well as our slow but steady move to a life spent exclusively in VR, beginning early next year.

The business will unveil a novel and reasonably inexpensive motion capture device that uses only six sensors mounted to the body and a smartphone to gather all tracked motion data.

For VFX-heavy movies like She-Hulk, Hollywood’s approach to motion capture entails a lot of pricey equipment, cameras mounted to actors’ heads, and frequently large purpose-built studios packed with sensors to precisely capture a full-body performance. In other words, a budget that the majority of VTubers do not have.

There are less expensive options, such as software-based motion trackers, but these frequently have accuracy difficulties. VR systems, such as the HTC Vive, provide effective full-body tracking solutions via wearable trackers and adjacent base stations, but the cost of that technology soon adds up.

While SlimeVR offers multi-limb tracking for a few hundred dollars, it is a crowd-funded product, which frequently entails difficulty when something goes wrong.

The setup appears to be simple and clear, as illustrated in this how-to video, with the software presenting a live representation of the user’s captured actions as applied to a virtual avatar.

The mocopi system can be used as a real-time solution to bring a VTuber character to life, or a virtual reality character in apps like VRChat, but the captured performance data can also be imported into 3D animation programs to create more life-like characters, thanks to an SDK that will be released on December 15th.

Although mocopi will not deliver the same level of accuracy as the technology used in Hollywood, it could be a more cost-effective motion capture solution for filmmakers or game developers on a tight budget.

Pre-orders are slated to be available in mid-December, with the system shipping around a month later in January 2023; however, Sony is initially only making mocopi available in Japan, with no word on whether or when it would be available in other markets at a later date.

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