Saturday, July 24, 2010

Animazoo Gypsy 7 announced - now under $10K

Picture: the Gypsy 7 suit (on the right). The left suit is Animazoo's
inertial-based system, so ignore it - that's not a Gypsy 7
I received an announcement today about the upcoming Gypsy 7 motion capture suit from Animazoo. This is the successor to the Gypsy 6. Some official information is at:

Here's a 3rd-party page on the predecessor Gypsy 6 system, for comparison:

Gypsy is a potentiometer + inertial based system rather than a marker-based system. So the big advantage is you don't need cameras. Another advantage is that you're not theoretically limited by a capture area. The big disadvantage is that the performer's motion freedom is limited by the suit - you're not going to be doing complex martial arts demonstrations in one of these.

The huge difference from the previous model is the 3x (!) drop in price. A Gypsy 6 full-body system was about $25K, but Animazoo is claiming an entry price of $8K for the Gypsy 7, before software drivers. So a Gypsy is now in the same under-$10K price space as a Naturalpoint camera-based system. The Motionbuilder driver set is an additional $1000.

An email exchange with the U.S. distributor indicates that Gypsy 7 is a USB-tethered system. The Gypsy 6 could be run in wireless mode. The tether seems to me like a significant disadvantage - you don't want your performer to have some long USB cable snaking off the back of the suit to your computer for the data capture. One great thing about wireless no-camera mocap systems has always been that you can dump a performer into the middle of a field, or a parking lot, or whatever, and get data -- your capture area is the largest public space that you can find. So it's unfortunate to lose that for the Gypsy 7. I wonder if it would be possible to trick up something via consumer-grade wireless USB hardware.

From the pictures online, I wonder how well the suit is going to pick up full head and neck rotations. That looks like a solid bar pointing up the spine towards the head. But until somebody gets to experiment with one of these, it's hard to tell.

Disclaimer: I don't work for Animazoo, nor do I resell their products.

No comments: