CES ’12: Microsoft Shows Off IllumiRoom

Remember that patent that Microsoft filed last year for an immersive display experience?  Well, it looks like we’re now seeing the realization of this with the newly revealed “IllumiRoom” technology at this year’s CES.  During Samsung’s keynote, Microsoft came out on stage and showed off how it works.  So what exactly is it?

At the most basic level, IllumiRoom uses Kinect and a projector to expand the game beyond the confines of your television.  So instead of confining the gameplay on the tv screen, think of if the game expanded out of the TV and onto the walls, essentially making the game space blur with your physical space.  According to Microsoft, this technology is able to do more than just expand the field of view as it can also change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, and create new game experiences as well.  What’s really interesting is that Kinect is able to read the geometry of the room and adapts the projected visuals in real-time to fit.

Want to see a bit more?  Check out the video below for some visuals:

Frankly, I’m glad that Microsoft is really trying to push the Kinect beyond what many people think of it: arm flailing.  It’s innovated things like this that give me hope for the future of the device.  While I still prefer a traditional controller over motion controls, I’m open to other experiences like The Wreckateer or Kinect Party for example.  Hopefully, with technology advancing on the Kinect, we’ll be seeing more and more unique experiences in the future.

At this time, there’s no telling if this will be coming to the Xbox 360 or if this is something for the next-gen console.  We may get answers sooner rather than later though as Microsoft is planning on showing more at the ACM conference in Paris this coming April.

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2 Responses to CES ’12: Microsoft Shows Off IllumiRoom

  1. This looks so fun. I haven’t been a HUGE fan of the Kinect or motion control in the past — partly because it still needs some work, and partly because it’s just too MUCH work — so I agree that this is a step in the right direction. It’s funny, but I always imagined having to wear big old goggles or something to experience this sort of immersion… so compared to that concept, this looks incredibly comfortable and exciting! I would buy this in a heartbeat. =)

    • gamercrash says:

      Yeah, i completely agree. It seems like Kinect is moving in the right direction and who knows what a tech upgrade could bring with a new console.

      And yes, I’m really glad you don’t need to wear some rediculous gear in order to make this work. A big plus in my book.

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