Chip maker STMicroelectronics to help demo wireless body motion tracking

The technology could help track the progress of stroke victims and control games

Working with Xsens Technologies, STMicroelectronics is next week demonstrating the world's first wearable wireless 3D body motion-tracking system based on consumer-grade sensors.

Advanced motion capture using sensors is already used in a number of different professional applications, including film making. But the technology is now ready for the consumer market, according to Per Slycke, CTO and co-founder at Xsens.

Xsens and STMicroelectronics have put together a demo for the Electronica 2012 tradeshow, which takes place next week in Munich.

The demo will track body movements by attaching to a person 15 sensors of the same kind currently used in smartphones from STMicroelectronics, while Xsens supplies the firmware and software to make it work.

"The types of applications you can use this for are very broad ... some we have in mind are sports, fitness health care and using your body as a gaming interface," said Slycke.

While Nintendo and Microsoft have popularized using body movements to control games, Xsens' software with STMicroelectronics' sensors can be used anywhere.

Beyond gaming, tracking body movements can also change the way neurological disorders like stroke are treated.

"Stroke affects the central nervous system, and that results in movement disorders, and they can be very subtle. But by evaluating the 3D motion data of a person you track progress or if someone becomes worse," said Slycke.

Some niche applications are expected to pick this up pretty quickly, because the basic technical building blocks are ready. For example, the low-energy feature in Bluetooth 4.0 will play an important role in helping set up a body area network, allowing sensors communicate with a smartphone, according to Slycke. Then it will take another year or two before it becomes more widely available, he said.

While the demo attaches the sensors using straps, future sensors could be integrated in, for example, watches, shoes and various types of smartphone accessories.

"I think this is a great opportunity for vendors who are looking to differentiate themselves in the handset market," said Slycke.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags STMicroelectronicsconsumer electronicsindustry verticalshealth careaccessoriesXsens

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?