No matter how beautiful the sex animations are in your favorite virtual playground, they can’t compete with the movement of your own body.
How soon will we be slipping gracefully into motion-capture suits or using 3-D cameras to capture those uniquely natural moves and engage our entire bodies in online sexual adventures, rather than limping along with keyboard and mouse? Sooner than you might think.
Kevin Alderman, who’s already infamous for the sex animations his company Strokerz Toyz creates for Second Life, is developing a wireless, consumer-level motion-capture suit that’s expected to hit shelves in 2009.
“Right now only a dozen or so sites on the web offer downloadable mocap files,” Alderman says. “You have to wait until some studio becomes benevolent enough to make the animations you want, or you have to engage them for your specific needs.”
Personal motion-capture suits will enable residents to contribute sex animations to the world of their choice — and to develop scenarios tailored to their own deepest desires, especially if they team up with others who also have the suits. It’s the bridge between today’s expensive studio mocap and the real-time avatar control of tomorrow.
Meanwhile, technologists Mitch Kapor and Philippe Bossut have developed a less exotic, yet more familiar, prototype for hands-free interaction in virtual worlds: They’re using a 3-D camera to track body movements, which are in turn translated and used to control avatars in Second Life.
These new technologies won’t instantly set off the “ZOMG it’s sex!” media alarms the way Bluetooth-to-sex-toy interfaces do. These developers can position themselves as facilitators of dancing and flying and walking around, creators of new input devices rather than instigators of a whole new level of cybersex.
But you can be sure we’ll adapt whatever they come up with to our own erotic purposes. I would gladly put up with a few technical glitches for the chance to play with home mocap systems and virtual worlds.
Traditionally, home motion-capture animation has been financially out of reach for most geeks, costing about a half-million dollars for a studio setup — a big room, multiple cameras to capture all the angles, the spandex suit with the white pingpong balls, the software that calculates the movement of those points through space and maps it to a digital figure.
For balance of article go to wired.com