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Microsoft's IllumiRoom uses your whole living room for video games
January 10, 2013 | By Mike Rose

January 10, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Video

Microsoft this week revealed a new proof-of-concept project that attempts to use the living room space around your television as part of your video game experiences.

IllumiRoom utilizes the Kinect for Windows camera, coupled with a projector, to change the appearance of the room around your TV, potentially extending your field of view in the game and inducing an added feeling of motion.

Kinect captures the geometry of your room and then proceeds to project visuals in real-time onto your surroundings. Microsoft says that this augmentation can work to enhance the traditional living room video game and entertainment experience.

The company plans to reveal more about the project in April at the upcoming CHI Conference in Paris.

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When I first saw that video, I thought it was fake. But now seeing gaming sites adopt it as truth I got to ask, whats the benfit to gaming in this projection method?

Doug Poston
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The benefit? It looks cool and adds to the immersion of the game.

It's another step from "mood lighting" towards "holo-deck". ;)

Carlo Delallana
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Some of the subtler implementations (snow flakes in a Mario Kart-like game) look great and can add some wonderful ambience to your game experience. Tech is a tool, the benefit is in the hands of those who exploit it creatively.

Lyon Medina
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Personally, I think it looks cool, and its only proof of concept at this point. It's only eye candy for people to be like "OOHHHH, AHHHHHH, WEYUO!" for those of you that don't know that last one is from Kung Pao. I personally love the idea.

Andrew Grapsas
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It's from their research division. It's just them exploring a cool concept to see if it has legs. Don't start ragging on it just yet, it's not a production system. This may be a stepping stone to much more powerful, important gaming components.

TC Weidner
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I think its a cool concept, I think it's just a matter of how hard and how much extra time ( aka money) it takes to incorporate it into a game. If its relatively simple and cheap to add in a game I can see it catching on, if it isn't, I don't see the bean counters allowing for it.

Eric Robertson
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imagine now being able to see the enemies to your left and right who are no longer visible in the game window frame.

Ujn Hunter
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Looks cool to me. It's just like rumble or 3D in that it is unnecessary but cool none the less!

Ben Droste
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I can picture a psychedelic light and sound show while playing a game like rock band, or Rez.
Or a disco ball effect for all your epic karaoke and DDR parties.
Or a haunted house game where the corner of your eye can catch of screen spooks.

I canít think of anything that where the device would be integral to the experience, but I could see it being an interesting supporting experience in the same way that controller vibration is, albeit at a somewhat greater (and possibly prohibitive) cost.

Camilo R
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I would definitely use this in most of my games, it looks very nice and could certainly add immersion. I could see it becoming an on/off feature that allows players to choose whether to enable it or not.

Jeremiah Bond
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This is a great idea. Setting the psychology of the room will dramatically improve gameplay experience.

Environmental Psychology, UC Irvine

Zach Grant
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Why not just use your entire wall as your projector screen in the 1st place? My projector screen is 170 inches right now. No need for this gimmick.

Marcus Miller
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Wow! What a stupid concept.