Microsoft has filed a patent for a 360 degree interactive display that projects entire game worlds across the walls of your lounge. Integrated 3D Glasses would allow users to see three-dimensional 'holograms' within the room itself and interact with them in-game, thanks to Kinect 2.0's depth-sensing tech.
This might sound like Star Trek: The Next Generation rather than the next console generation (groan), but we've got the details after the break.
PatentlyApple, who originally discovered the patent (and kindly allowed us to use one of their graphics), reports that "an immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display." This primary display doubtlessly refers to a telly, while walls would likely play host to animated backdrops.
Though the patent suggests that the projection device could be used for two-dimensional images, its 3D applications are much more exciting. "The user may enjoy an immersive 3-D experience using suitable headgear," the patent reads, "such as active shutter glasses configured to operate in synchronization with suitable alternate-frame image sequencing at primary display and environmental display." In simpler terms, wearing 3D glasses (similar to the Kinect Glasses outed by the leaked Xbox 720 Road Map document) can be used to create fully three dimensional environments, both in terms of creating the illusion of depth and projecting 'holograms' within the room.
In terms of applications, this setup could potentially be used to massively increase a player's peripheral vision while playing an FPS, increase immersion in a simulator or even allow the evolution of new genres. Or it could be really confusing and fail hilariously when it encounters its natural enemy: coloured wallpaper.
Naturally it's worth noting that patents often don't lead to products. Big ideas frequently don't translate into realistic, affordable and marketable consumer goods, so we'll take this with a pinch of salt for the time being. That said, since Kinect 2.0 and the glasses were leaked by Microsoft's road map, perhaps the future isn't that far away...