Stylus
  • Home
  • /
  • Technology
  • /
  • Sony Brings Movement to the Metaverse with Motion Tracking

Sony Brings Movement to the Metaverse with Motion Tracking

Published 05 January 2023

Author
Pia Benthien
2 min read

Sony has launched Mocopi, a user-friendly motion capture system for animating digital avatars – making the technology more accessible to a broader range of players previously hindered by high costs and a lack of technical know-how.

The innovation, whose name is a play on the term ‘mocap’ (short for ‘motion capture’), consists of six button-sized tracking tags that are worn on the arms, legs, hips and head. These sensors send users’ movement data to a corresponding game engine app on their smartphones, allowing their real-world gestures to be mirrored by their digital counterparts.

Most avatars on online platforms are controlled by players wearing virtual reality (VR) glasses and using handheld controllers, while metaverse enthusiasts seeking hyperrealistic VR experiences can also don movement-tracking bodysuits connected to a powerful (and expensive) computer. In contrast, Mocopi’s smartphone-based functionality can potentially provide more affordable access to the immersive worlds offered by motion capture software. This is relevant for digital communities like VTubers – livestreamers who only appear on screen as avatars – and burgeoning motion artists.

As we reported in Realising Virtual Realities, smooth movements and ‘natural’-looking avatars are key to making the metaverse appeal to a wider consumer base. According to a global study, 77% of respondents think immersive tech will have an impact on how they interact with brands in the future (Capgemini, 2022). But lacklustre world-building attempts from Meta and Microsoft – complete with unrealistic, low-quality avatars – have led critics to claim that VR adoption is less important for the metaverse than the amped-up development of blockchains and other vital infrastructure.

As the concept of the metaverse evolves, the way consumers engage with virtual environments will inevitably change. For further insights, Stylus members can watch our One-Minute Explainer and read our series The Metaverse 360°.

The innovation, whose name is a play on the term ‘mocap’ (short for ‘motion capture’), consists of six button-sized tracking tags that are worn on the arms, legs, hips and head. These sensors send users’ movement data to a corresponding game engine app on their smartphones, allowing their real-world gestures to be mirrored by their digital counterparts.

Most avatars on online platforms are controlled by players wearing virtual reality (VR) glasses and using handheld controllers, while metaverse enthusiasts seeking hyperrealistic VR experiences can also don movement-tracking bodysuits connected to a powerful (and expensive) computer. In contrast, Mocopi’s smartphone-based functionality can potentially provide more affordable access to the immersive worlds offered by motion capture software. This is relevant for digital communities like VTubers – livestreamers who only appear on screen as avatars – and burgeoning motion artists.

As we reported in Realising Virtual Realities, smooth movements and ‘natural’-looking avatars are key to making the metaverse appeal to a wider consumer base. According to a global study, 77% of respondents think immersive tech will have an impact on how they interact with brands in the future (Capgemini, 2022). But lacklustre world-building attempts from Meta and Microsoft – complete with unrealistic, low-quality avatars – have led critics to claim that VR adoption is less important for the metaverse than the amped-up development of blockchains and other vital infrastructure.

As the concept of the metaverse evolves, the way consumers engage with virtual environments will inevitably change. For further insights, Stylus members can watch our One-Minute Explainer and read our series The Metaverse 360°.

Want to know more?

This is just a glimpse into our extensive reporting for members. Get in touch so someone from the Stylus team can explain how your business can harness the power of trends and insights like these – and more.

Want to know more?

This is just a glimpse into our extensive reporting for members. Get in touch so someone from the Stylus team can explain how your business can harness the power of trends and insights like these – and more.