Perception Neuron is an inertial sensor-based motion capture suit developed by Beijing-based Noitom Technology. It has been designed to be an affordable motion capture system for professionals and amateurs alike but is also a perfect candidate for VR input, rapidly capturing body motion with millimetric precision down to individual finger positions which can then be represented in the virtual world in near real-time.
The system’s modular design means you can attach between 10 and 30 sensors to your choice of joints and limbs to capture movement with as much detail as required. The tiny sensors are connected to a hub on your back, housing the main control unit which detects the sensors’ location relative to one another. The unit also contains the lithium-ion battery pack, wifi antenna and SD card reader. The system is completely waterproof so motion capture of swimming is possible, although I wouldn’t recommend it with your Oculus Rift headset on.
The wifi capability means the system isn’t tethered to a computer so you’re free to somersault around the room without fear of sending your precious laptop flying. [N.B: VR-G takes no responsibility for personal injury caused by stupidity]
The SD card slot allows you to record motion capture data onto local storage should you need to bust-a-move away from your computer.
Priced between $175 (£110) for the 10 sensor package and $500 (£310) for the full 30 sensor package, this system puts professional grade motion capture technology into to the hands of small companies, indies, enthusiasts and the general public.
Noitom’s CEO, Dr. Haoyang Liu, stated, “What is incredible is what we are hearing from students, freelancers and small studios around the world who never dreamed they could afford this type of technology and who are telling us that Perception Neuron will open new doors for them both creatively and financially. We are also hearing from researchers and scientists who are getting this as a tool to measure body movements for biomechanics in rehabilitation and sports. There are also a lot of artists who want to use Perception Neuron for live performances. I really cannot wait to see the all these projects come together.”
Noitom’s kickstarter for Project Perception Neuron finished last week and was a resounding success, gaining $571,908: more than double their goal. Backers of the kickstarter campaign should get their systems by Feb 2015. For anyone that missed the kickstarter campaign, you will be able to pre-order the system very soon via the Perception Neuron pre-order page (currently under construction).
VR-G is really looking forward to giving this a virtual fistpump and we’ll be sure to bring you a full review when we get our hands on a kit in the new year. In the meantime here’s a couple of teasers to whet your appetite: