Press Release: 1996-08-05: Sega Selects Polhemus to Develop Next Generation Motion Capture System

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: (archived)

NEW ORLEANS - Polhemus and SEGA Enterprises, LTD. today announced that SEGA has selected Polhemus to develop the next generation Motion Capture Systems for them. The new system is expected to greatly expand the capabilities of the technology and will be used at SEGA's Amusement Software R&D; Headquarters in Tokyo.

Motion capture is one of the hottest tools for the computer games' industry, allowing game developers to animate their characters in real-time by capturing the movements and live actors. In this way, all the subtle moves of a martial-arts fighter are captured to make the games more realistic. Although existing systems have greatly improved the realism, the various technologies each have advantages and disadvantages. Optical systems allow unencumbered movement, but they require extensive "post processing" to correct errors. Electromagnetic systems are real-time but they involve cables and their range is somewhat limited. Polhemus' new system will address these conditions and offer many other advantages.

The announcement was made at a press conference held during SIGGRAPH by Philip G. Cooper, President of Polhemus, and Yu Suzuki, SEGA's Director of Amusement Software. SEGA is the leading developer of games for both arcade and home use. Under Mr. Suzuki's guidance they have introduced such hits as "VIRTUA FIGHTER" and "VIRTUA RACER." Mr Suzuki said "We view motion capture as a strategic advantage for our company. Because of its importance to our success, we felt it was critical that we select a supplier that could provide not just an evolutionary product, but a real breakthrough." 

Polhemus is a small, high-technology company, located in the town of Colchester, just outside Burlington, in the beautiful Champlain Valley section of Vermont. Polhemus, a subsidiary of Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics, specializes in measuring the position and orientation of objects in three-dimensional (3D) space with sophisticated electromagnetic technology. Polhemus has led the development of electromagnetic measuring systems for two decades and owns many landmark patents. Mr. Cooper commented that "This announcement was the result of extensive discussions to learn SEGA's requirements and match them to projects under development at Polhemus. We are very honored that they are placing such confidence in our expertise in this area."