Sony Mocopi
Image courtesy: Sony

Sony has launched a new motion capture system called Mocopi. It’s a lightweight and portable system that enables users to create videos and control online avatars in real time.

What is Mocopi?

Mocopi consists of six small motion tracking sensors, which you fasten onto your body with straps. There is a sensor for each wrist and ankle. There is also one for your waist and another for your head. The sensors connect to an Android or iOS smartphone app via Bluetooth. The sensors are only just over an inch in diameter (32 mm) and weigh less than a third of an ounce (8 g). This means you will barely notice them once you have them on.

Using Mocopi

The Mocopi system is completely wireless. The sensors come in a case, which means you can charge them via USB-C. Charging takes around 90 minutes and should last for up to 10 hours of use. When you first take the sensors out of the case, you pair them individually with your smartphone app. You then place them on a flat surface and connect them to the app. After you have attached the sensors to your body, you have to go through a series of calibration moves, and then you are good to go.

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Recording video with Mocopi

Once you have set up the system, your on-screen avatar in the Mocopi app will move in sync with your movements. You can then record videos of your avatar within the app. In addition, you can load different avatars and change the background. You can even lip-sync your avatar’s mouth to your own voice using the microphone on your smartphone. Videos are saved as mp4 files.

Recording motion data with Mocopi

With Mocopi, you can also record your movements as motion data. You can save this motion data locally or transfer it to your computer in real time. The data is saved in the BVH format, which can be used by most 3D applications. In addition, the motion data can be transferred to external software or services in real time. This means that you can control your avatar in metaverse apps like VRChat.

Software development kit

Sony has also announced that it will be releasing a software development kit (SDK) in December. The SDK can be used to link the motion capture data from Mocopi with metaverse services. You can also use it with the development platform Unity and Autodesk’s MotionBuilder animation software.

Verdict

Mocopi is an exciting product with a lot of potential. The release of the SDK means that Mocopi could be used as a low-cost motion capture system for visual effects. This would make motion capture available to a much wider range of low-budget and independent filmmakers. Hopefully, the product will be a success, and Sony will roll it out around the world.

Pricing and availability

Mocopi is initially only being launched in Japan. It will be available for reservation from mid-December 2022 and will go on sale towards the end of January 2023. Mocopi will cost 49,500 yen, which equates to around $365 at today’s currency exchange rates.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.