MP recently spoke with Taku Kodaira, the COO of M Entertainment Works(MEW), a groundbreaking new technology redefining entertainment using motion capture technology that was on full display in the Lounge of the GRAMMY Awards®. Gone are the days of an actor wearing specialized motion-capture suits to create 3D characters and avatars. MEW’s new AR tech generates detailed 3D motion data from videos that already exist to create jaw-dropping avatars.
MP: What is M Entertainment Works, and what makes it unique?
TK: M Entertainment Works itself is a small creative universe. The three founders all have their own professional specialties and the CEO, Hitoshi Miyata is a musician. It is decentralized and very collaborative, which enables research and development in different directions.
Why did you start M Entertainment Works?
M Entertainment Works started with 3 founders. Each of us was the CEO of different startups before.
We all had different strengths, experiences, and visions in the beginning, but we determined that we wanted to “empower the creative universe,” which became our vision statement.
We believe that MEW will provide a tool that can help people discover new ways to use and enjoy things we never imagined and help them create something. In the digital world of entertainment such as the Metaverse, everyone will become a participant, a broadcaster. They will exist in a circle of empathy where new values and communication will become the norm. In a world where everything that is created can be realized, we will provide all kinds of opportunities. These include the means for everyone to express themselves equally, transcend barriers, and create joy. That is our idea of entertainment.
M Entertainment Works is pioneering the world of “performing avatars,” which you revealed at the GRAMMY Awards. What exactly are performing avatars, and why are they special?
“Performing avatars” are made up of different components. First, there is an avatar that is created without the involvement of an actual person. We can create high-quality avatars from just one photo. The avatar needs clothing, and we create those from real clothing that moves with the body as if it was. Motion is also a key component that is taken from existing videos utilizing cutting-edge technologies.
On the topic of raising awareness about M Entertainment Works, what are three struggles you’ve experienced along the way, and why?
XR technology is often difficult to explain without letting people experience it. It makes more sense to people when they can see it.
At the GRAMMYs, we held an AR Live show with legendary musician Robert Johnson. The show is self-explanatory when you are at the venue holding our tablet, but it is difficult through photos and videos when you are not.
It was difficult to take pictures and videos showcasing the impact of our avatars on those who visited our booth.
How do you plan for M Entertainment Works’ future?
We will be providing tools and infrastructures for various creative universes. At the same time, we will be providing eye-popping content ourselves to demonstrate the next generation of creative production. With the new era, things without rights will give rise to new rights and all involved will receive the share they deserve.
What are three pieces of advice you can share with people looking to become influential leaders in their businesses, and why?