In the software-dominated world of Microsoft, very few new product offerings emerge that are not directly associated with Windows or Office. The Xbox gaming system was able to survive and flourish in the Windows-dominated company and has now gone on to become a flagship product at Microsoft.
This status provides the team that works on the Xbox and associated peripherals a certain amount of freedom to explore and attempt to innovate. The Kinect system was created this way and has since flourished. Now the IllumiRoom is poised to follow.
What Is IllumiRoom?
IllumiRoom is a peripheral system for the Xbox game console that is currently in development by a team at Microsoft Research. The product description reads:
"IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences."
The idea behind the IllumiRoom is to blur the edges of perception from the game screen to the real world thereby creating a greater sense of immersion in the game world. Images that are displayed on the screen by the Xbox game console would also be projected on the wall and other surfaces of the same room.
While these secondary images would not be clear or defined, the purpose is to create the illusion of the game beyond the walls of the television or monitor.
How Does IllumiRoom Work?
The specifics on the processes that make IllumiRoom function are not yet released, but a general idea of the functionality has been released. The IllumiRoom system uses a Kinect attached to an Xbox game console to scan the appearance and geometry of the gaming room.
This allows the IllumiRoom to adapt the visuals in real-time without the need for pre-processing of the graphics and thereby reducing the load in the game console or IllumiRoom system. The visuals are then projected from the IllumiRoom system into the gaming room.
IllumiRoom by Microsoft Research
IllumiRoom is a promising experimental peripheral designed for use with Kinect-enabled Xbox game consoles. At this time, there is no word on the production prospects of the IllumiRoom system.