Motion capture technology specialist Vicon has announced the acquisition of IMeasureU, to add further sensor-driven movement measurement capture to its portfolio of engineering, entertainment and life sciences solutions.
Fusing wearable technology sensors and proprietary software, New Zealand company IMeasureU (IMU) has developed a high-fidelity motion measurement system that enables researchers to benefit from data-driven performance insights.
With product design and engineering software increasing the ability to add in real world sensor data to digital models, and the rise of the ‘Digital Twin’, the acquisition of IMU would give Vicon users an increased variety of applications to measure a person’s movements in parallel to a product’s sensor data.
As no additional camera equipment is required to gather the data, it can be captured outdoors and researchers can monitor multiple subjects at the same time outside of a laboratory environment.
A natural extension of the Vicon product suite, the data produced by IMeasureU’s IMU sensors can be integrated with, and analysed through, Vicon’s existing end-user applications.
The company’s proprietary wearable sensors are already aiding professional sports teams measure professional player movements, while this is equally applicable to companies looking to add human interaction information to their product.
An IMU sensor takes samples of three different physical measurements, in each of the three directions of the sensor.
The first is the straight line acceleration, or rate of change in speed in that particular direction. The second is the rate of rotation around that axis. The final measurements are the magnetic field strength in that same direction.
According to IMU, this gives a total of nine measurements for every point in time measured, with the sensors able to measure all of these metrics at 500 times per second:
“To gain helpful insights into the motion of the sensor in the real world, the orientation of the sensor should first be determined, else the measured accelerations are not meaningful. We pass all nine metrics into what we call a ‘fusion algorithm’, which does some complex math to determine this orientation relative to the direction of gravity and magnetic north,” outlined IMU engineer Andrew Bollen.
“Now that we know the orientation, we can use it to transform the accelerations measured in the constantly changing directions of the sensor, into global or fixed directions. This can then be used to glean more information about the movement of the sensor through space, and ultimately to deliver useful information.”