Singapore immersive entertainment firm Refract partners Samsung for virtual Taekwondo tournament

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The Axis system from Refract used in conjunction with VR goggles. PHOTO: Refract Technologies.

Refract Technologies, a Singapore-based company that makes wearable controllers for immersive experiences, said last week it had inked a strategic deal with Samsung to create new gaming, virtual sports and other interactive experiences.

The partnership will explore new use cases of extended reality (XR) with Refract’s Axis full-body controllers that enable users to replicate their physical movements in a digital world.

Similar to how Hollywood uses motion capture technology, Refract users place wearable sensors on their arms, legs and head to capture their movements and simulate them in a game, for example.

This means a user can be, say, kicking and punching virtually in an online Taekwondo match. To enhance the realism, he can also put on virtual reality goggles for an immersive feel.

PHOTO: Refract Technologies
PHOTO: Refract Technologies

Indeed, one of the first uses of the technology is for virtual Taekwondo matches and exhibitions, starting with a showcase at the inaugural Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June.

Though other details of the deal with Samsung are still sparse for now, what Refract has done so far is ship Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy A53 phone with its Axis systems to backers of its technology on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

The untethered design of the wearable controllers, which can deliver low-latency and real-time inputs, were successfully crowdfunded back in 2021.

Refract also pitches the controllers as a way to carry out remote training and to enable professional motion capture for content creators.

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