SharkStream: Innovation in motion
Motion capture technology has accelerated in recent years to develop exciting applications for the entertainment, sports and medical sectors. Advanced systems have captured the drama of King Kong scaling the mighty Empire State Building and added a dynamic level of realism to characters in the booming video games sector.
Tech experts from the Future Worlds Incubator have built on recent successes in the market to develop an exciting new full body motion capture system called SharkStream. The team, led by Future Worlds Director Reuben Wilcock, has tapped into the University of Southampton’s world-leading research facilities to create a new product which is ready to offer unique solutions to innovative markets.
The inertial sensor-based system, which allows users to accurately capture motion without the need for a green screen or camera, has been optimised over the past two years since demonstrations at the 2016 and 2017 Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas.
“One of the key innovations in SharkStream’s technology is that we have integrated the sensor electronics into the plastic buckles of the very straps that hold them in place,” Reuben says. “This combined with the use of a high speed serial bus and sensor chaining makes for an elegant solution. We are now in the perfect position to create bespoke systems for individual markets.”
The improved SharkStream system uses 17 nine-axis body sensors which are connected to a hardware accelerated eight port hub. Data fusion algorithms combine the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer readings to report an accurate orientation of every node 100 times a second. The system currently connects by USB to a computer – with added WiFi connectivity planned for the near future. The processed data stream is available through a powerful API and a plugin is available for Unity, the software of choice for many games developers.
“SharkStream has applications in film making, video games, performance sports and many other industries and we’ve got great deals for early adopters,” Reuben says. “If you’re interested in the SharkStream motion capture system, get in touch using the contact form on this page.”
The flexibility and modularity of the system will make SharkStream attractive for both niche and mainstream markets. The team are already talking to sports scientists, a real-time visual effects company and games developers and are well placed to develop bespoke solutions for new applications. And with the popularity of virtual reality exploding in recent years, they are keen to work with partners to develop high performance motion capture systems for this exciting sector.
If you have an application that could benefit from the addition of a motion capture solution or are interested in becoming an early adopter then get in contact with the SharkStream team using the contact form on this page.