Sony's Mocopi wants VTubers to strap six sensors to their body and flail about
Mocopi is a portable motion capture system that lets you control a digital avatar in real time
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Mocopi motion capture
💃 Sony has announced Mocopi, a portable motion capture system
🏷️ Mocopi consists of six tracking tags which you attach to your body
🔵 It uses Bluetooth to pair with Android or iOS smartphones
🕺 The sensors let you control a digital avatar in real time
Here’s a curveball announcement from Sony: the company has unveiled Mocopi, a portable motion capture system that seems to be aimed primarily at VTubers (virtual YouTubers).
As spotted by The Verge, the device consists of six tracking tags that you strap to your wrists, ankles, hip and head, which let you control a digital avatar using your entire body. Thankfully they’re super light at just 8g, so it won’t feel like a workout while you’re wearing them.
We don’t know which applications will support Mocopi just yet or whether it can be used in conjunction with something like PSVR 2. Still, Sony is releasing an SDK (software development kit) on December 15 which will allow devs to play around with the new device.
In the trailer below, Mocopi is primarily shown manipulating a digital avatar – but there’s also a strong suggestion that the device will be used for fitness applications, similar to how Nintendo used the Joy-Con and a peripheral in Ring Fit Adventure for Switch. Speaking of which, I should probably add that as an honorable mention on our best Nintendo Switch games list as it’s a fun way to stay in shape and works really well.
Mocopi – which definitely should have been called ‘Mocapi’ – has a battery life of up to 10 hours, and the trackers can be fully charged in 90 minutes, according to Sony. The buttons connect to your Android or iOS device using Bluetooth, and motion data is tracked using a compatible service, like Unity.
Sony is clearly targeting a very niche audience with Mocopi, but VTubers, especially in Japan, are a big deal. The faff of having to strap so many devices to your body immediately puts me off, even though the system is free of other frustrations, like needing a base station, camera or having to deal with a wire.
Mocopi is set to retail for 49,500 yen (around $360) and is scheduled to release sometime in late January 2023. That price is rather steep when you consider the entry-level Meta Quest 2 is $399 and the PSVR 2 price is $549. But hey, Sony clearly thinks there’s a market out there for these little button-like trackers. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
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