When we think of full-body motion capture, we most often associate it with movie-grade equipment that demands a dedicated room, odd-looking suits and a corporate bank account to finance it all. Xsens hints that we may not have to rent a professional studio (or stand in front of a Kinect) to get complete body tracking for personal use. It's planning to show a wearable, 3D-capable tracking system at CES that uses "consumer grade" MEMS sensors to monitor joint positions and movement -- in other words, the kind of technology that might go into a phone's accelerometer, just strapped to our arms and legs. Further details are scarce, although Xsens is pressing for uses in everything from fitness to gaming. We'd like to see partners line up so that there's a product we can buy in a store. Until then, we'll have to make do with the company's skateboard-dominated teaser clip, which you can find after the break.
Demonstration of world's first wearable 3D body motion tracking system based on consumer grade MEMS sensors at International CES
Xsens Offers Wearable 3D Body Motion Tracking IP License
Enschede, the Netherlands – December 21th 2012 - Xsens, the leading innovator in 3D motion tracking technology and products, will demonstrate the world's first wearable 3D body motion tracking system based on consumer grade MEMS combo sensors at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, USA.
As part of a broader strategy, Xsens now offers IP originally developed for professional (B2B) applications of 3D body motion tracking using wearable motion trackers for mass market application in the consumer electronics industry. Xsens has supplied 3D body motion tracking technology for Hollywood productions such as Ted, John Carter, X-Men, The Avengers and many more. Job Elders, SVP of Strategic Alliances at Xsens; "In addition to Xsens' firm commitment to continue to serve our customers in professional movement science, film VFX and game development, we are now reaching out to partners looking to create next-generation consumer experiences using proven wearable 3D body motion tracking technology in sports, fitness, healthcare and gaming."
Unlike the first generation wearable technologies like counting users steps and estimating calories, Xsens' technology enables accurate, real-time tracking of body motion. One or more wearable motion trackers, connected to a smartphone, deliver real-time 3D joint angles, position and velocity. Per Slycke, CTO of Xsens; "What makes this so exciting is that you can take the analysis to the next level. Instead of measuring that you are moving, or not, we can track how you move. We can deliver the data to help the user understand the motion or technique, in order to understand how to improve. We are helping our customers to innovate and take full advantage of the power of today's MEMS motion sensors using our unique sensor fusion software."
Wearable 3D body motion tracking is enabling the next wave of innovation in cloud-connected wearable sports, fitness, healthcare and gaming sensor accessories for smartphones. Real-time 3D body motion data enables the development of apps that can recognize and classify complex motions such as sports techniques by digitizing your exact movements for immediate feedback and live sharing.
Juniper Research, a market analyst, calls wearables 'the next smart thing' and estimates the market to reach $1.5 billion by 2014. IHS IMS Research estimates the wearables market for infotainment, fitness, wellness and healthcare to reach $6 billion by 2016.
The technology demonstrator can be viewed from January 8 to January 11, 2013 at the International CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, USA at LVCC South Hall 2 – MEMS TechZone booth 25321.