Microsoft’s Xbox Tries Turning the Entire Living Room Into a Videogame

Gamers are already waving their hands around and talking to the Xbox thanks to the Kinect.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 9.07.02 AMNow, Microsoft is working on enhancing the visual experiences, too.

A Microsoft Research project, called IllumiRoom, was unveiled this week at CES, which uses projectors to overlay images from the TV screen to all of the walls in the room.

Microsoft is clear about calling this a proof of concept, but with a new Xbox on the horizon, it’s fun to think about the kinds of innovations that it could bring to market with new hardware.

Geekwire dug up the video of Eric Rudder, Microsoft’s chief technical strategy officer, who introduced the project onstage during a Samsung press conference.

In a video, animated snowflakes appear on the walls when it is snowing, stars float around the room when traveling through space and the walls ripple to imitate the reverberation or echo of a gunshot in a first-person shooter.

To get it to work, Microsoft is using a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector, so potentially the biggest hurdle to getting this to market will be the price of the equipment. Rudder said the technology could be used to enhance a TV show or movie, a flight simulator or educational experiences.

Here’s a video of IllumiRoom in action. As Microsoft notes, no special effects were added in the production of the video. In other words, this is real, folks.


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