Research has developed a proof-of-concept gaming
uber-toy called IllumiRoom that expands the gaming environment from beyond the bezel of your TV to the whole room. Essentially, while the TV is still the focal point of the action, IllumiRoom adds a variety of effects that accentuates it.
After a simple auto calibration, IllumiRoom can add “projected illusions” of basic and advanced lighting and color scenarios, snow and star fields, a radial wobble when you’re shooting guns, an 80s sci-fi-type grid, bouncing objects, select elements from the gaming environment, extensions of the actual gaming environment to give you a big screen feel, and more.
You can layer on multiple illusions in a single game, too, which is a sight to see. Fortunately, you can see the sights as it were, because Microsoft Research made a really cool video
for us to see IllumiRoom in action.
The technology uses a Kinect
for Windows camera and a projector to leverage the “appearance and geometry of the room” to create the illusions in real time without any need for graphical pre-processing.
IllumiRoom is clever, appeals to even casual users, and appears to be a relatively simple implementation and evolution of existing technology, which are all hallmarks of a terrific product. It just so happens to have the deep pockets of Microsoft backing it up, as well, which means that it’s more than likely we’ll see IllumiRoom become a Real Thing that will be available with the Xbox