MIT's new motion capture tech boasts more versatility at a fraction of the cost

What you see up above is a projection sensor, part of MIT's new motion capture system known as Second Skin. Those green bars you see projected onto the wall is just one of 10,000 different patterns the sensor will spit out in a second, allowing it to track motion both inside and outdoors, and without the need for special lighting.

Second Skin is a departure from the prevailing motion capture methods — which involve high speed cameras, magnets, accelerometers and several hundred thousands of dollars — as it doesn't use any cameras. The aforementioned projectors, coupled with tiny photosensors embedded in ordinary clothing, is all Second Skin really needs to gather data necessary to animate digital characters, or even track changes in motion over time for medical purposes.

The best part? The whole getup only costs a few thousands dollars, though it benefits from a component system so you could beef it up if you want - or even set it up for less than $1,000. The photosensors only cost $2 apiece, vibrating sensors cost around $80 and the projectors go for $50. Beyond special effects and medical applications, a system like Second Skin could also open up a whole new world for budget filmmakers.