IllumiRoom from Microsoft Research gives ‘immersive gaming’ a whole new meaning

By , Jan 14, 2013

Here’s a killer concept I’d love to have installed in my living room. Courtesy of Microsoft Research comes this enhanced gaming experience that projects images beyond a television set, basically turning your entire living room into a video game. I know this is just a concept, but keep in mind that the popular Kinect motion sensing input device also started out as an idea in Microsoft’s R&D lab.

What you’re seeing in this clip is the real deal – no special effects were added in post processing or anything like that. Microsoft isn’t saying when (or if, for that matter) the IllumiRoom project might get incorporated into a next-gen Xbox with Kinect. For now, it’s just a a proof-of-concept system, but we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of having something akin to this implemented on the Xbox console…

From YouTube description:

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. The effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live – not special effects added in post processing.

So, how does this thing work?

Long story short, IllumiRoom taps a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to induce apparent motion and extend the field of view. The system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room captured by Kinect and then adapts the projected visuals in real-time, without any need to custom pre-process the graphics.

If you’re itching to learn more, head over to the IllumiRoom project’s official web page.

Microsoft is promising to release more information alongside a paper explaining all the details at the forthcoming ACM CHI 2013, which runs April 27 – May 2 in Paris, France.

The concept is credited to Microsoft Research engineers Brett Jones, Hrvoje Benko, Eyal Ofek and Andy Wilson.

Before the original Xbox, Microsoft had zero credibility in the gaming space.

Nowadays, the Xbox 360 is the hard-core gamers’ console of choice.

Microsoft is also said to be working on an inexpensive Xbox-branded set-top box and a smaller Surface tablet focused on gaming. Interestingly enough, the Windows giant recently acquired home automation startup R2 Studios, another indication of the company’s intentions to position itself as the leading living room entertainment and solutions provider.

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  • Lordthree

    Saw it last weak. Looks pretty dumb. [and unless your the guy holding the controller sitting at the exact correct angle, everything will be distorted. Notice how all of the people are sitting… Alone?]

  • jose castro

    yeah not liking it.. it look like they need a lot of work.. good concept tho..

  • http://twitter.com/_moose239 Max Jarrett

    Brilliant concept. But imagine how hard it would be to fit the projector in the prefect position!

  • Muhammad

    Shut up and take my money

  • http://twitter.com/ToanNguyenDuc Toan Nguyen Duc

    This is awesome!

  • SoCoMagNuM

    Id have to pass. If your tv was next to a plane wall maybe it would be nice but its really a distraction. Trying to decipher what ur actually looking at beyond the tv can ruin ur game experienced. Its best to just get an actual projector for the entire viewing and turn a while plain all in the room to a full screen experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    cool

  • http://profiles.google.com/jacob.noergaard Jacob Nørgaard

    Projector user here – since my field of view is already over 100″ wide, this really wouldn’t do much for me anyway. Seems gimmicky. Like a carnival ride, it’s only going to be fun a few times, when the novelty wears off.