Manus specialises in building enterprise-level data gloves with precision finger tracking and haptic feedback for a range of use cases including virtual reality (VR). The company is moving beyond pure hardware solutions today by releasing Manus Polygon, motion capture software that’s SteamVR compatible and free to download.
Designed as an entry point for developers looking for a simple motion capture solution without the expense, Polygon Free enables live streaming of body data into Unity or Unreal Engine. When it comes to tracker support, Polygon can be used with any SteamVR compatible device, from the Vive controllers for a basic setup to Manus’ own SteamVR Pro Trackers or the Vive Trackers. And, of course, the software is compatible with the company’s own Prime X series gloves.
For a basic motion tracking setup beyond merely using controllers, developers need enough trackers to cover six points, hands, feet, waist and head. With a VR headset on that means five extra trackers are required. Polygon can support more though, adding further trackers to the upper arms to finesse that digital avatar movement.
“At Manus, we believe in a future where content creation in the virtual world becomes as integrated as video is currently. Convincing full-body motion capture will play a large part in the adoption and creation of the metaverse,” says Bart Loosman, CEO at Manus in a statement. With this release, we invite developers and content creators to dive into full-body motion capture and explore the opportunities this offers for VR, animation, digital avatars, virtual production, and the coming metaverse.”
Manus Polygon Free provides all the software functionality developers might need to get started, with Polygon Pro and Polygon Elite offering further professional features. Polygon Pro features recording and editing tools within the Manus Core, as well as FBX exporting, timesync and genlock. Pro users will also get the Manus Strap Set to attach SteamVR compatible trackers. Taking that a step further is Polygon Elite which includes the Pro bundle, a perpetual license, and Manus SteamVR Pro Trackers and a charging station.
The Manus SteamVR Pro Trackers were announced earlier this year with pre-orders being taken for them individually. On the Manus website currently, they only seem to come in a 6-pack retailing for €1,999 EUR, available Q4 2021. By comparison, six Vive Trackers would set you back €834.
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