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Microsoft Shows Off Xbox IllumiRoom Concept At CES

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
IllumiRoom, Kinect, Microsoft

"Projects Images Beyond Your TV"

Last year Microsoft filed a patent for a device that projects effects and game footage onto the walls of your play space, which would theoretically increase your field of view and make games more immersive. At which point, we basically told them to 'pull the other one.'

However, it turns out that the concept has been quietly fermenting in Microsoft's R&D skunkworks, leading to them unveiling a proof of concept demo at CES 2013.

And yes, that video is apparently completely legit, without any editing or post-production.

As evidenced by the demo trailer, IllumiRoom acts as a projector that lounge walls into a canvas for real-time game footage, or extensions of in-game effects such as explosions, snow or particles. Think backlit TVs taken to the next level, essentially.

"IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept Microsoft Research project designed to push the boundary of living room immersive entertainment by blending our virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations," explains the accompanying blurb. "The effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live -- not special effects added in post processing."

If the patent application is to be believed, IllumiRoom will use Kinect's 3D depth sensor to work out the player's position relative to the television in order to project appropriate images, and may be compatible with 3D glasses.

Of course, IllumiRoom is still very much a proof of concept rather than a viable product. We'll learn more when Microsoft refines the hardware for a more detailed reveal in April.

Are we one step closer to the gaming holodeck? Or will our lounge walls end up festooned with interactive adverts?

Add a comment10 comments
RiKx  Jan. 10, 2013 at 13:02

saw this earlier, was confused as to what exactly it was for, except potentially aggravating my epilepsy...

DivideByZero  Jan. 10, 2013 at 13:24

This is the sort of thing that everyone says is a great idea, but only a handful actually buy (I would be one of them for sure). What would then happen is a few big games would have support of this at first, but then as no one bought it the support would die out and it will die off.

Sounds cool, would go with a surround sound + 3D + Novint Falcon + Vibrating jacket / chair combo.

Late  Jan. 10, 2013 at 14:55

As RiKx and DivideByZero have indicated, it's usefulness is next to zero - but I still think it looks fantastic. I'm not so excited for what it is, as it's only a step and a fairly innocuous one, but for the destination that step could eventually lead to.
Anything that brings immersive reality (a la Star Trek holosuites) a step closer is a good thing - and this does just that.

Oh gawd - that's twice I've mentioned Star Trek on here in the last few minutes.
I'm not a Trekkie, honest.

I'll confess I have the outfits, but I very rarely put on the prosthetics and I barely speak any Klingon...

JonLester  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:01

@Late: maH DIchDaq ghobe' noH SoH

DivideByZero  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:01

Hahaha

Late, do you PC game and have you had a go on a Falcon yet if so? Very futuristic!

Late  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:09

@Jon - lol! It's appreciated.

@ /0 - I don't do PC, no. Too bewildering and expensive for me.
(Got a video link to this Falcon, so I can see what you mean? You can imagine the wildlife stuff I get if I youtube "falcon" ;) )

DivideByZero  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:17

Novint Falcon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ1Rz2clLS0

You can't really get it from a video, but it not only does stuff like recoil, but 3d mapping. So when you pick something up the controller goes heavy, or if you are moving through glue, it goes a bit sticky and then jumps free when you come out... it is totally amazing. Novint actually use very similar tech to develop surgical training aides, which is how good it is.

/end sales pitch ;)

Late  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:27

Oh, man, that looks fantastic! (How have I never heard of that?! I'm not big on pc gaming, but I love tech like that.)

RiKx  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:42

Novint Falcon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ1Rz2clLS0

You can't really get it from a video, but it not only does stuff like recoil, but 3d mapping. So when you pick something up the controller goes heavy, or if you are moving through glue, it goes a bit sticky and then jumps free when you come out... it is totally amazing. Novint actually use very similar tech to develop surgical training aides, which is how good it is.

/end sales pitch ;)


They actually use this where I work to visualise and manipulate chemical compounds and peptides.

Though not with the gun attachment...

DivideByZero  Jan. 10, 2013 at 15:50

Cool! It's awesome as a game controller too, get them to install some Left 4 Dead ;)

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