At CES this week, Microsoft has revealed a research project called IllumiRoom. The system combines a Kinect with a projector to scan your TV room and show content that extends beyond your TV. The goal is to create a more immersive gaming experience by adding peripheral information. The IllumiRoom appears very similar to a patent application recently filed by Microsoft.
Microsoft, who isn’t holding a keynote proper at CES this year, showed off the following IllumiRoom video at the Samsung keynote:
Microsoft is calling this a proof-of-concept, though the video above is apparently not just CGI trickery. According to the company, “the effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live — not special effects added in post processing.”
Credit for the project goes to: Brett Jones, Hrvoje Benko, Eyal Ofek and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research.
Microsoft filed for an ‘Immersive Display Experience’ patent back in September which detailed a system for adding peripheral virtual imagery to the walls of a gaming room. The patent was a bit more ambitious, showing all of the walls in the room with projected imagery, than what we’re seeing here.
This is a neat gimmick, but I’m not entirely convinced that it would significantly enhance the gaming experience, at least not from what was shown. Maybe it would work better if you had blank walls next to your HDTV. Players would also need to pay for and mount a projector — it seems like a lot for a little. What do you think, worth it or not?