Sony launches motion-tracking bands for VR and mocap use

Sony's new product aims to draw in aspiring animators and those who may be curious about what the metaverse has to offer.

Sony's released a new product in Japan in called Mocopi. Originally reported by Engadget, the product is a series of bands that go on a user's body (specifically, their hands, feet, back, and head) and are then used to track movement, similar to to mocap. 

The motion sensors are meant to primarily entice those that dabble in avatars for VRChat and the metaverse. Sony doesn't have a metaverse of its own (at least, not yet), but making technology specifically for those interested in the metaverse can be another avenue for newcomers to be onboarded. 

As Sony wrote to Engadget, Mocopi will "free VTubers and creators involved in movie and animation production from time and place constraints." At 49,500 yen (or about $358), these bands reduce the barrier to entry for those looking to enter the animation and game industries.

The price is particularly noteworthy given that for consumer electronics, the back half of 2022 has seen several price increases. Ahead of a potential economic recession, corporations such as Meta and Sony have either increased the prices of their VR headsets and game consoles, or are releasing new products at a higher price. 

Before Mocopi's early 2023 release in Japan, Sony plans to release an SDK on December 15 that will allow captured performance data to be imprinted into 3D animation programs. Users will also be able to export pre-existing VR avatars into the software, provided their mobile device meets the specific requirements.  

Pre-orders for MoCopi will go live in mid-December. In the meantime, Sony released a setup video showing how the device is intended to work, and it appears to be relatively straightforward, which will be another point in its favor. 

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