Dr. Tom McLaughlin is CEO of Motion Reality, Inc. (“MRI”). He received his MS and PhD in Biomechanics from the Univ. of Illinois (1978), was a visiting scholar at UCLA and a professor at Auburn until 1984 when he founded Biomechanics, Inc.
(which became MRI in 2001). His specialty is in spatial musculoskeletal modeling dynamics of human motion, and integration of mechanics and analytical techniques with real-time 3D computer animation and immersive simulation. He has directed research contracts for companies and organizations such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Acclaim Entertainment, the U.S. Army, Motorola,
the U.S. Olympic Committee, Shepherd Spinal Center, TaylorMade-adidas Golf Co., the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and Raytheon Company.
Under his leadership, MRI has been a pioneer and innovator in real-time motion capture and immersive virtual simulation technologies. MRI’s licensed earlier motion capture technology has been used in creation of high fidelity 3-D human motions for both video games and for over 40 movies such as all of the Lord of the Rings/Planet of the Apes/Hobbit films, Polar Express, King Kong and AVATAR, and won an Academy Award™ for Technical Achievement. Since 2002 MRI’s MATT™ system, co-developed with Taylor Made-adidas Golf Co., has been used globally in consumer golf swing analysis and club- fitting for millions of swings, generating arguably the world’s largest database of 3D human motion/swing data.
Immersive Virtual Reality in Training, Simulation and Gaming
In recent years we have developed a new generation of 3D real-time immersive virtual reality systems, leveraging our decades of experience in entertainment (video games and motion pictures), sport (such as our millions of consumer golf
swings with TaylorMade-adidas Golf Co.) as well as our legacy work for the U.S. Army and the FBI in real-time 3D motion capture for distributed simulation and training in military and law-enforcement. Our goal has been to develop and provide simultaneously in real-time automatic non-invasive optical marker-bbased and/or markerless tracking, high-accuracy full
body 3D mechanism analysis, and interactive computer graphics animation of the subject’s body and motions, with simultaneous display of associated performance data as feedback. We have also integrated other sensory feedback capabilities in real-time, including automatic muscle stimulation when a soldier’s avatar body is hit by a bullet’s calculated 3D trajectory, as well as integrated sound and tactile feedback. Devices that subjects can naturally operate/interact with such as weapons with electronic recoil are also included to enhance virtual presence and realism. “Live” subjects can also interact not only with other “live” subjects but also with additional Artificially Intelligent (“AI”) characters driven algorithmically, whose behaviors are dependent on the “live” subject’s behaviors. In our fully immersive virtual reality systems, wireless wide FOV HMDs provide each subject with an independent 1st person stereoscopic POV display of any virtual environment. World class graphics and game engine physics effects are also provided to enhance realism and immersive presence.
It has been widely reported in the media that 2016 and beyond will be the years where virtual reality becomes the next “big thing”, and so appropriately, our experience and results to date, lessons learned, mistakes made, challenges going forward and future potential will be presented.