Posted by: kenwbudd | December 1, 2009

OpenStage: GPS Devices capable of tracking people has great potential

The world’s first device capable of tracking multiple people without attached sensors is here, and scientists see in the invention opportunities for more efficient military training and warfare readiness.

Orlando-based Organic Motion computer vision company unveiled the tracking platform at the Interservice Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, the world’s largest of its kind that opened Monday at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

Tracking devices have different uses, none more challenging than in a modern warfare scenario where soldiers can end up in dangerous, unpredictable situations and lose contact with their commanders, often with disastrous results.

The new motion tracking platform, OpenSTAGE, does not require participants to wear any attached devices, tags or sensors. The technology enhances the operations of a wide range of simulated training environments and is apparently effective in tracking multiple people at the same time, without special backgrounds or controlled environments.

Analysts said the OpenSTAGE multi-track platform would improve the way armed forces prepare personnel for military operations. Organic Motion said the device would work for dismounted soldier training programs, military operations on urban terrain, better known in the industry as MOUT, and “Close Combat Tactical Training Dismounted Soldier” simulations.

The tracking platform eliminates the need for any additional attire, enabling multiple fighters to step into a virtual world with no prep time and be instantly tracked.

As a result of the new platform being in place, multiple teams can now participate in simulated maneuvers, including live interaction with friends or foes, continued tracking of soldiers after they dismount in Combat Vehicle Simulators, or tracking of shooters in a shoot house.

Organic Motion CEO Andrew Tschesnok said OpenSTAGE “is a major leap for simulated training and the applications are immense.”

He said the company had developed OpenSTAGE to meet the rigorous demands of the defense industry.

“By eliminating sensors, an entire squad can now achieve instant entry into a far more realistic training environment and have their movements tracked and displayed in real-time, all at a lower operating cost and with maximum throughput.”

To deliver a training-ready system, Organic Motion has integrated MAK’s VR-Link networking toolkit and VR-Vantage 3D visualization solution into the product. VT MAK, a company of VT Systems Inc., develops software to link, simulate and visualize the virtual world.

The integration of MAK’s products means trainees can actively participate in the most realistic simulations, with minimal negative training, all in real time. Organic Motion’s image-processing software will analyze the video feeds to capture position, orientation, posture and motion of subjects in the scanning space.

OpenSTAGE will then communicate the resulting information in real time to VR-Vantage, where an animated 3-D model mimics the motions of the live person within a simulated scene.

VT MAK CEO Warren Katz said the new technology would “usher in a new era of immersive training” for dismounted infantry and their units. He said it will also greatly reduce the cost of operating such systems.

OpenSTAGE supports integration with existing military equipment and increases the speed and efficiency of training readiness for a wide range of simulations.

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