Back at CES 2013 we were first introduced to Microsoft’s proof-of-concept, Illumiroom. A new augmented reality projection system that was possible combining a Kinect sensor and a projector to display images from an Xbox game or video, outside the TV screen and onto the living room’s walls making the game experience more immersive. Now at CHI 2013, Microsoft is revealing more information about the future of this new system and the company has even released a new 5-minute video demo of the Illumiroom concept.
Although, according to Microsoft the Illumiroom project still a concept, it could be a reality in the near future, and it might just be the one, must have, accessory that gamers will lineup to buy for the next version of Xbox, which by the way the company will unveil on May 21st.
Basically this is how it works: a Kinect sensor scans the room and it produces an accurate map of the surroundings. Then a projector utilizes this map to push images beyond the real state of the TV screen and onto the walls producing a more immersive game interaction.
The new projection system works virtually in any room and is capable of enhancing gaming experiences by projecting illusions that can change the appearance of the room, “turning the living room into a cartoon world”, distorting reality, expanding field of view and enabling entirely new gaming experiences.
One thing we know for sure is that Illumiroom has been designed for the next-generation Xbox. While Microsoft won’t be releasing the new augmented projection system when the new console ships, this one will be released sometime after the launch and as a separate attachment, like Kinect was. — Worth the wait? I think so.