Let’s talk about third-party system integration for biomechanics and animation

Written by

07 September 2021

Integration of motion analysis systems with third-party systems means different things for the biomechanics industry and the animation industry, so we chatted with Phillip Hagerman, our Vice President of Operations, to give you the lowdown on both types of our third-party kits:

Q: What is the difference between the system integrations needed for biomechanics and for the animation industry?

Third-party hardware is mostly integrated for the biomechanics side of the business – we find these companies or research institutes are needing integrations for things such as:

  • EMG systems
  • Force platforms
  • Eye tracker glasses 

But the animation developers and producers want to integrate with software engines, such as: 

  • Maya
  • MotionBuilder
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine

Q: How often are these system integrations updated? 

We get frequent requests for new hardware integrations as various biomechanics researchers begin work on new, cutting-edge projects. Because of this, the hardware integrations that are needed tend to change drastically over time and updating this on our systems is very dependent on what’s needed and how many people are needing it. 

Software, on the other hand, is a more anticipated process because we already have a plugin, and as new versions of software come out, we simply develop for that version. There may even be instances when a gaming software is very “release-heavy”; in other words, they release an update every two months. In these cases, we may skip an update if there is not a great customer-demand or only develop for a specific version when our users start requesting it. But generally, the software integrations need to be maintained pretty frequently in order to ensure we stay up to date with the newest releases. 

Q: Can both Cortex and BaSix integrate with third-party hardware and software?

Our goal with BaSix was to keep the User Interface (UI) and customer experience very simple and efficient so that training on the system could be done timeously. This means that it is more limited with third-party integrations, but it is still compatible with all major animation packages, including: 

  • Maya
  • MotionBuilder
  • Unreal
  • Unity

As far as Cortex is concerned, the third-party software plugins are not built into the Cortex software – they exist as their own entity, so they need to be individually installed for animation purposes. The third-party hardware, however, is physically integrated into Cortex in order for Cortex to be able to communicate directly with the hardware. This communication pack allows us to develop with various versions of hardware as new hardware is released. 

Q: What is the most beneficial third-party integration for both hardware and software?

When it comes to our third-party hardware, a big benefit for the user is the ability to do digital integration. This has streamlined a lot of the setup within the software. Take force platforms for example: we would usually have a calibration matrix that goes into play with the analog side of integration, which then requires increased configuration because of the raw data we are receiving from the amplifier. With streamlined digital integration, however, the force calculations are being done on the amplifier and we get the final product – the processed data. This saves us steps in the process of acquiring that data, which essentially saves on costs. 

Similarly, the software side is also pretty streamlined because, as mentioned earlier, we have a plugin we develop which gets updated for each new version, allowing us to stream data directly.

Get your hands on the latest system integration for your Motion Analysis tech

For our current customer, if you’re already on a maintenance plan with Motion Analysis, then don’t worry, your plan will automatically update your system. However, if you’re not, you would need to purchase a maintenance plan in order to reap the benefits of third-party integration updates. 

Not using a Motion Analysis system yet but wish you were? We’d love to chat with you. 

Book a demo with us today!