We can’t take it any more… For the love of the gaming gods. Can we just make all these incredible, high-end, full-immersion virtual reality gaming peripherals an industry standard already? Can we please just make them freely available and with a massive library of supporting titles? Every day we hear about some amazing company sucking up millions of dollars via Kickstarter like it just tapped into some previously unknown oil reserve… Now, we’re one step closer to the holodeck…
Motion Capturing for “Recreation..”
The latest shiny thing we really want is YEI technologies motion-capture gaming suit. The product has been in development for 15 years and was born from necessity. A bunch of academic-type fellow geeks needed sensitive real-time motion capture while working on natural voice recognition, artificial intelligence and robotics. We’re guessing they were making a real life warrior princess elf for errm… recreational purposes, though their real motivations are unknown.
Back then, and even today, these strap-on sensors cost a lot of money. That’s fine if you’re a studio putting together a motion capture system for the latest Disney movie or some kind of national defense contract. But if you’re a university with limited funding, it’s easier to make your own. And that’s exactly what the team at YEI technology did.
Are The Sensors Good Enough for Gaming?
Right now, YEI claims its motion sensors are either as accurate as or more accurate than its competitors and cost 5, 10 or sometimes 20 times less cash. Before starting the gaming project, the sensors had already found their way into use in the military, medical, national defense, industrial and just about every other goddamn sector you can think of except for gaming. Clearly, some people need to get their priorities straight…
Because gaming is by far the most important industry of any listed in this article, some modifications to the motion capture sensors were necessary. The most notable is a wearable wireless USB hub which attaches to the exoskeleton. It reduces latency between the device and your gaming PC or console, allowing for real time interactions with in-game objects.
This will be especially important for those moments when you want to reach out and embrace the metal armourbra-clad elf princesses without ruining the immersion of such thrilling experiences…
YEI Exoskeleton + Oculus Et Al?
Sorry, confusing subhead there, but you get the point. Arguably, the greatest proposition here is the potential for the YEI suit of genius to merge with the many crazy-awesome peripherals in the works. Imagine a PrioVR connected with an Oculus Rift, or CastAR whilst standing on an Omnitread.
Hopefully there would be some modifications to the Omni though. The current ring around the user so we don’t fall over would make it somewhat restrictive considering the 360 degree motion capture capabilities of this exoskeleton of awesomeness.
When Can We Suit-up?
The company has a Software Development Kit (SDK) and an Application Programming Interface (API) to hand out to game developers, allowing dev’s to work motion capture into their creations. One potential hurdle is how user-friendly these platforms are. PrioVR bigwig Paul Yost assures us it will be easy for to develop compatibility for everybody position from prone to fetal, it’s hard to be sure.
At the end of the day, if a game company has to double its development budget for a bunch of coding geniuses is to hack together YEI support, it may not have such an impressive list of compatible titles.
At the time of writing, YEI is about 50% of the way to the $225,000 goal on kickstarter. And, while The Newbiverse team rooted around in our pockets to contribute the combined sum of $1.46, there’s some way to go still. Get on there, pledge and you too can enjoy your… recreational activities in a suitable timely fashion…