My Interview with a Gremlin
Perhaps the most interesting vendor to me at Engage Expo was Animazoo. They have a motion capture suit that you can wear which can capture a person’s motions and use it to control an avatar. Their current version is a high end, expensive device, but they are working on a consumer version which should become available around Feb 2011 for around $400. Developer’s models, which will be more expensive should start becoming available in Dec 2009.
I spent a bit of time talking with the folks involved. First, I spoke with the folks at the booth. Then, they had their connection to their lab back in England up and running, so I spent a bit of time talking with Matt the Gremlin in the UK. As we talked I thought, this would make a great interview. If we were doing it scripted and planned ahead, I could have set up something like Fraps to capture the screen. Instead, it was completely ad hoc and off the cuff. I asked permission, took out my beat up old video camera and did a quick video.
It isn’t high quality, but it illustrates, quite nicely I believe, what can be done with this motion capture suit and a little bit of software. If we could do this, using a $400 device, existing software, and no planning, just imagine what you could do with an art department creating some fascinating avatars and carefully scripting and storyboarding the action. Let’s push it a little further. Think about what you could do with a dozen people in these sort of motion capture suits; a football game between the orcs and elves; a fascinating dance party for seven year old girls, all of this coming to the consumer market. The possibilities are endless. What are your thoughts?
So, the quality of my first interview with a gremlin may not be all that high quality, but it certainly was memorable, and I’ll treasure this experience of my first interview with a gremlin.