Microsoft and Samsung joined forces to create a mind-bending project that was revealed at CES 2013. Illumiroom is a concept that makes use of your X Box, a projector and a Kinect sensor to extend the image on the screen to the rest of your room.
The goal of IllumiRoom, as stated on the Microsoft Research website, is “to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds”. More precisely, the Redmond giant wants to make gaming on the X-Box more immersive without forcing gamers to wear helmets, virtual screen glasses or any other gimmicks.
In addition, the company also explained that to achieve its purpose, 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.”
If we are to believe the promotional video that was made by Microsoft for the announcement of this proof-of-concept, all that gamers have to do in order to turn on IllumiRoom is to say “X-Box, go big!” Yes, tomorrow’s gaming does not rely only on gestures, but also on voice commands! Upon doing so, the room gets scanned and when this step is finished, too, gamers can immerse into their new world.
In case you didn’t know, Microsoft patented the “immersive display experience” last year, which means that the company moved pretty fast. There is still a very long way between this proof-of-concept and a commercially available product. I don’t want to give anyone any false hope, but I’m saying that it would be amazing if the X-Box 720 came with more than just the Kinect in its box.
Microsoft stated it is going to offer more details regarding IllumiRoom at the ACM SIGCHI Conference, which will take place in Paris, in April. According to the ones present at the Microsoft keynote at CES 2013, more applications of this concept were presented, so it will be interesting to see what other directions IllumiRoom is heading to.
Personally, I am very excited about this project and I can’t wait for it to be mass produced. Also, it’s nice to see that Microsoft decided to cooperate with Samsung. May have have many brainchildren!