The Rokoko Smartsuit Can Download Your Motions

If you've ever seen behind-the-scenes footage of an action movie or video game, you might be familiar with the great lengths studios will go to make CGI look real: actors mimic the motions of the soon-to-be-animated character in front of expensive motion-capture cameras while wearing suits covered in sensors. It's a complex and expensive process, and a Danish startup thinks they have a better way. They've created a suit that can download your motions—no cameras or fancy equipment needed.

The SmartSuit Pro can download your motions while you move around in the real world.

Motion-Capture Studio In A Suit

The startup Rokoko calls their Smartsuit Pro "an entire motion capture studio" in one suit, which enables creators to use the technology to capture human motion anywhere—in a studio or otherwise. All you have to do is put on the suit like you would any regular clothes, open the software, and start capturing data.

It works like this: 19 sensors covering the arms, legs, and other parts of the body record your movements and either store them internally or send them to a computer via WiFi. The result is something that is "completely mobile," Rokoko CEO Jakob Balslev told Fast Company. "It turns any space into a motion-capture stage."

Sensors are hidden inside the suit.

Access For The Masses

The Smartsuit Pro comes in at a cool $2,245—still not an impulse buy, but something that could offer crucial access to a technology previously controlled by big movie studios. In comparison, traditional motion capturing systems that rely on cameras can cost over $100,000, according to Tom's Hardware. Now, studios with smaller budgets could have access to essential motion capture technology.

Eventually, Rokoko even hopes that the development will be used in video game production and virtual-reality applications. The accuracy isn't quite as high as traditional, more expensive motion-capture technology, but that doesn't mean it won't be in future. And for now, motion-capture has been brought to the masses—or at least the ones with about $3,000 to burn.

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Written by Stephanie Bucklin May 30, 2017

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