Microsoft IllumiRoom: turn your room into a virtual game world

by ps3iso on January 11, 2013

During CES, Microsoft showed off IllumiRoom, a new technology that turns your environment into part of games or movies; a step into the future of virtual gaming.

A lot of incredibly advanced and stunning technology has come out of CES 2013 including some updates and previews on other virtual gaming gear like the Oculus Rift but something just announced by Microsoft really stole the spotlight this year. During Samsung’s keynote at CES 2013, Microsoft demonstrated IllumiRoom, a new technology that I talked about in one of my articles awhile back about the future of gaming and virtual gaming. The new technology that Microsoft had patented has finally come before consumer eyes, the tech turns the entire room you are playing in part of the game or movie. IllumiRoom uses Kinect and a projector to blur on screen content and the environment around you to combine virtual and physical worlds.

 “Blending our virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations.”

Microsoft actually showed a demonstration of the technology at work during the keynote, which you can watch below in its entirety. Microsoft said that the video demo shown off below during the CES keynote, was captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production, which is extraordinary with some of the environment effects. Microsoft explained that IllumiRoom “augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience” and “can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.” The Kinect captures the layout and arrangement of any room and adapts projected visuals in real time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics, which makes this no ordinary projector; breaking the borders of a TV. Crazy right?

The video shows off some seriously mind blowing effects, such as an entire room pulsing, snow falling and stars surrounding the room around the tv. IllumiRoom really looks to create a more immersible gaming or movie experience. The video looks great, and hopefully operates just as good as it looks. Microsoft hasn’t announced if IllumiRoom will be included with the next Xbox and Kinect 2.0 however.
In the hands of developers a ton more can be done than what’s shown in this small video demo, which has a lot of people excited including myself. If virtual gaming continues to look this good, sign me up.

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