Practical Motion Capture in Everyday Surroundings

Commercial motion-capture systems produce excellent in-studio reconstructions, but offer no comparable solution for acquisition in everyday environments. We present a system for acquiring motions almost anywhere. This wearable system gathers ultrasonic time-of-flight and inertial measurements with a set of inexpensive miniature sensors worn on the garment. After recording, the information is combined using an Extended Kalman Filter to reconstruct joint configurations of a body. Experimental results show that even motions that are traditionally difficult to acquire are recorded with ease within their natural settings. Although our prototype does not reliably recover the global transformation, we show that the resulting motions are visually similar to the original ones, and that the combined acoustic and inertial system reduces the drift commonly observed in purely inertial systems. Our final results suggest that this system could become a versatile input device for a variety of augmented-reality applications.