Vicon awarded Innovate UK funding for next-gen research

Two-year funding award is part of Innovate UK's Digital Funding competition

Vicon, the motion capture technology specialist, today announced that it has received research & development funding in partnership with a world-renowned visual effects company as part of Innovate UK's Digital Funding competition. The two-year research funding covers the development of innovative motion capture (mocap) technologies for the digital media industry. Mocap pioneer Vicon, who are behind many of the key technology innovations over the last 30 years, will use the funding award for extensive technology research above and beyond its existing development programme.

The Digital Funding competition from the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK (formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board) aims to support projects addressing convergence in digital technologies. It covers film and television, online video, animation and video games - including pre-production, production and post-production processes, particularly in visual effects technologies. The competition funds feasibility studies as well as collaborative R&D projects.

"Innovation and meeting tomorrow's customer needs is vital to ensure the UK remains a centre of excellence for motion capture. This funding means we can focus on 'blue-sky' innovations that can really help take the UK mocap sector to even greater heights," said Imogen Moorhouse, Vicon CEO. "Vicon's ability to exploit new product development across a variety of our markets means the resulting products and ideas developed as part of this research will ultimately benefit not only the VFX space, but the entire mocap community."

Motion capture is the process of recording the movement of objects or people. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics. Since 1984 Oxford-based Vicon has been developing technology to capture, track and analyse movement. This includes enabling true-to-life character creation in games and films to improving the performance of world-class athletes to designing ergonomic spacesuits for NASA. Vicon developments include the first commercial motion capture systems in the early 1980s, to launching accurate real-time entertainment software in 2012 and a head mounted tracking system in 2013.