MotionRiver: Universal Mocap streamer

Our award-winning team are pleased to announce that we have been funded by the UKRI to research and develop MotionRiver: the Universal Mocap Streamer. MotionRiver is a hyper-specialised tool that enables new forms of mocap performance. For MotionRiver the THAYAHT team formed a partnership with the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth & tech developers Cooperative Innovations

Imagine immersing yourself in a VR experience in the UK where all the characters are animated by live actors from Australia, or a dance video game that features real dancers captured in Mumbai. MotionRiver allows developers to create new types of responsive experience. From live immersive performances to interactive video games – the difference here is that instead of repeating the same programmatic or looping sequence, over and over, characters will be able to react and respond in a natural and realistic way – because they are controlled by real actors. MotionRiver is an innovative open-source software toolkit that inputs and outputs a wide variety of mocap data which it converts into a ‘universal’ format. Just as Android and iOS work on different phones, there are also different types of mocap data – and this tool will solve the compatibility problem – allowing more interconnectivity. The application streams data over the internet to remote computers running the application which can receive and use the motion data in the desired format.

The innovation stems from research questions relating to how to capture and disseminate liveness across digital platforms:
How do we create new spaces for immersive performance to be made?
How do we bridge the gap of distance and work within the new context of dislocation and confinement?
MotionRiver is a new tool that will enable greater accessibility of motion capture and innovate new methods of cultural and creative collaboration.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (20 May 2020) announced the investment coming from a £211 million government support package to drive forward business-led innovation and is part of a wider investment package of £1.25 billion for innovative UK businesses. The UKRI competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity. Executive Chair, Innovate UK, Dr Ian Campbell, said:

Businesses from all over the UK have answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation.

The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.