I review Sony’s Mocopi standalone body tracking system updated with optional focus areas for greater accuracy.
Sony’s Mocopi makes it possible to animate a VRChat avatar to match my body movements. The result is similar to strapping HTC’s new Ultimate trackers or Tundra trackers on your legs and torso, but HTC’s new trackers only work with HTC headsets like the Vive XR Elite, and Tundra requires base stations.
As a standalone solution, Mocopi works well with the Meta Quest 3, Quest 2, and Quest Pro when using the native VRChat app to hang out with friends and meet new people in virtual worlds. Instead of simulated motion, your avatar comes to life with movements more like your own.
If VRChat was available on PSVR 2 headset, Sony might add support for Mocopi trackers. At the moment, that’s not an option.
Sony Mocopi review in a nutshell
Mocopi trackers are quick and easy to set up, and the latest app update improves the precision of Quest tracking and adds the option of using VRChat via SteamVR on a Windows PC. For $449, you get an all-in-one solution that works with your phone to sync your avatar with the movements of your arms, legs, head, and hips.
Reviewed on: Meta Quest Pro
Available on: Meta Quest, PC VR
Sony Mocopi is suitable for you if you
- want to animate your VRChat avatar,
- need motion trackers for game or app development,
- or like recording AR videos with 2D avatars.
Sony Mocopi is less suitable for you if you
- want to spend less on body tracking,
- already own Vive trackers and base stations,
- or want to use more than six trackers at a time.
Sony Mocopi is a set of six small trackers, five with straps, and one with a clip. The clip attaches to my waistband, and I strap the other trackers to my head, arms, and legs. The new update lets me choose a few different configurations. I’ll cover that below.
The Mocopi mobile app connects to the trackers and sends positioning data to my Quest headset to update my VRChat avatar with a matching pose. The pose refreshes up to 60 times each second, so movement is captured with reasonably good fidelity.
Sony includes a charging case, but you’ll need a charger and USB-C cable to replenish the battery of the Mocopi trackers after about 10 hours of use. The app guides you through how to set up and use the trackers with your VR headset.
The included straps are sized for the head, wrist, and ankles. Since the new features allow more options, you’ll need longer hook and loop straps if you want to place a Mocopi tracker on your chest and thighs. I rigged up a strap that places the head tracker on the back of my Quest Pro headset.
New Sony Mocopi features
If you’re already familiar with how Mocopi works, the new features enabled by the latest app update will be the most interesting. In addition to the default tracker positions, I can choose new arrangements that help with lower body or upper body accuracy. There’s also an option for PC VR by installing a SlimeVR server on your computer.
I chose improved lower body precision, which shifts the wrist trackers to my knees. This is a nice adjustment by Sony, acknowledging that most VR users are holding controllers, which makes wrist tracking unnecessary. By shifting those redundant trackers to the knees, leg tracking is much improved. I can lunge, squat, cross my legs, and strike various poses that my avatar matches with greater precision.
If I chose upper body focus, the ankle trackers are repurposed to monitor my upper arms. More natural arm and elbow movement is important when sitting at a desk or if you don’t move your legs much. I prefer to stand and move around in amazing VRChat worlds.
The PC VR option is similar to using MoSlime, but without all the hassle. You can use a normal SlimeVR server running on a Windows PC. MoSlime requires a Raspberry Pi board that runs Linux, as explained in YouTuber ThrillSeeker’s video. Unless you’re familiar with maker builds, it’s a lot to learn to get Mocopi working well on PC VR.
With Mocopi’s app set to PC VR, you place the wrist trackers on the thighs and the head tracker on the chest. This moves the redundant head tracker away from your VR headset to your chest. I feel like Sony should offer a similar feature for standalone users. I don’t use VRChat on my computer, but having another tracking point with my Quest headset should improve accuracy further.
Sony has a preview video on YouTube that demonstrates PC VR results.
The New Mocopi app
The new Mocopi app update became available on January 18, 2024. If you have Mocopi and want to try these features, make sure to update your mobile app. When you launch the app, select the three dots at the top right and choose Enable advanced features.
As you proceed through the setup screens, the app will give you options to choose the type of tracking you want. Default tracking works best for recording AR videos with a 2D avatar on your phone. For VRChat, the new upper or lower body focus options are best.
I don’t spend much time in VRChat, but I can tell Sony’s Mocopi would improve my sense of presence. In a metaverse future, body tracking should become a standard feature to help make hanging out with friends feel more natural. However, people learn to communicate despite the limitations.
The ability to use Mocopi to record videos with avatars in an AR overlay with only a phone is a nice added feature. For developers, being able to save motion capture data with Sony’s inexpensive system could reduce costs greatly. Overall, Mocopi is a great value for anyone who needs lightweight and portable body tracking capabilities.
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