Q&A with Artanim

Tell us a bit about Artanim
Artanim is a Swiss research centre based in Geneva, which was founded in 2010. Artanim conducts research projects in two main areas. The original focus is in the medical research arena; where we combine motion capture with 3D medical imaging in order to better understand human joint structures, as well as using and improving the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Our latest area of focus looks at developing virtual or augmented reality applications, with an emphasis on real-time interaction and using cutting-edge motion capture and 3D body scanning technologies. We also provide motion capture services to game developers and 3D producers in order to help bring their projects to life.

As one of the largest motion capture centres in Switzerland, we hope to make motion capture technology more accessible and encourage its use.

Why did Artanim choose Vicon as its motion capture system?
All of Artanim’s co-founders have either worked or studied at the MIRALab, University of Geneva. The lab was installed with a Vicon system and has been a customer of Vicon since 2003. As a longstanding Vicon customer and having previously used the technology on a large number of different projects, the team were sure that continuing to work with Vicon was the right choice both commercially and technically. Our use of Vicon solutions has always been reliable, precise and with super low latency which is really important for real-time applications. Vicon’s ongoing continual development in all areas of motion capture, their support network via direct and through resellers, and working ethos with customers, makes it easy to choose to be a Vicon customer! How has virtual reality changed over

How has virtual reality changed over the last 5 years?
VR hardware and software platforms have vastly improved in terms of both choice and price point. What is really great is that they are of a quality suitable for consumers and prosumers alike – making perfect market conditions for growth, and importantly, acceptance. With VR hardware being accessible it becomes about content creation and making an amazing immersive experience. Game engines, such as Unreal © and Unity © have massive communities making accessibility to developers of VR environments considerably easier. With Vicon’s continual development of their solutions, including Tracker & Pegasus, the ability of using these tools in a reliable, repeatable and robust way allows the concept of large scale multiple player VR worlds to come to reality. As VR technology becomes more mainstream, our ultimate goal will be to deceive the five human senses of hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste – in a way that allows the user to believe they’re in a real environment.

What do the next two years hold for Artanim?
At the moment we are preparing to launch and commercialise our spin-off company Artanim Interactive and the ‘Real Virtuality’ VR platform we’ve been developing over the last few years. The platform will allow users to become immersed in a VR scene by walking, running and interacting with physical objects and other people/characters. We’re looking to deploy location-based VR experiences around the world – starting with those in the entertainment industry.

We are also trying more and more to mix our two research areas, so developing VR/AR applications for medicine. For example, we are working on a new project called Holomed that aims to develop two different tools: A VR rehabilitation platform which combines both VR and mocap in order to improve performance and motivation for patients undergoing rehabilitation. As well as an anatomical see-through tool with Hololens for use in surgery and sport medicine. This would allow medical teams to visualise and analyse a patient’s anatomy in real-time and whilst they move.

The Artanim team will be carefully following new motion capture and VR/AR developments in order to stay at the forefront of technology in those fields.