Microsoft has released more information detailing its highly immersive IllumiRoom projection technology. The system was first glimpsed at CES but Microsoft has readied some new video demonstrations and a PDF research paper in preparation for the CHI 2013 “changing perspectives” show which kicks off in France tomorrow.
The IllumiRoom system works with a Kinect sensor to capture the geometry of your room and a projector to extend your game console screen display beyond the boundaries of the TV screen. It doesn’t work exactly as a simple wall-sized screen projection; it seems to add depth and other visual clues to your interacting with and navigating the game environment. It’s very easy to understand the possibilities if you watch the impressive demonstration video, embedded below for your convenience.
In gaming terms the video narrator details a number of options for the IllumiRoom setup. You can choose to have a full game graphics extension mapped to your room, you can have just edges highlighted beyond the TV screen, you can choose to have only certain game elements extend from the TV, you can even set the room furniture to obscure your view in some ways. The system can also make it look like your room is different in colour or even animate movements of your room furniture in response to on-screen action. It is important to note that some of these effects, but not all, need to be catered for when the game is programmed.
Not just games
Microsoft showed the IllumiRoom working with video footage too. Example recordings were made using a dual-camera system (pictured below) to take a wide and a more central view of a scene. The central view is always on your TV while the peripheral view is in your room; it can be in focus or blurred to draw the eye to the central screen.
The Verge reports that an IllumiRoom peripheral could be announced as a future accessory for the next Xbox when it is unveiled on 21st May. At the moment Microsoft stress the IllumiRoom system is a “proof of concept”.