IllumiRoom: Projected Illusions for Interactive Gameplay

A new way to play games--or live them.

 A New Way to Play Games

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IllumiRoom is a new system from Microsoft Research which offers a new interactive experience. It projects images and extensions of the game on screen to the room surrounding the television for increased immersion.

While aimed mainly at designers, it can be employed by any gamer as the system tracks the optical flow and projects the image back in real time.

IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera to capture the entirety of the room, and a projector to create seamless visuals in real time. The system compensates for any furniture and can change a room’s entire appearance, including visuals and motion from the game. It can even create holographic snow or rain projections which can accumulate on the ground in front of you.

As the demo video shows, the system is pushing the realm of interactive entertainment. Enemy gunfire and explosions escape in a shower of sparks outside the television, giving the impression that YOU are actually being shot at. Grenades can even roll under furniture in the room if you change the settings.

The room can also be radically changed to match on-screen content. Kids’ games can change the room to a cartoon by highlighting edges of walls and furniture. Gritty FPS shooters will have sharper focus on screen by greying out the room, and even produce a “radial wobble” that simulates recoil from weapons fire.

What does this mean for us?

Personally I am blown away by the IllumiRoom; but what does this kind of tech mean for a gamer? Think about this:

Pilot or mech games where the cockpit fills the entire room. Driving games where sunlight changes within the room as you drive. Strategy games where you can see the entirety of your forces spread across the map. FPS where you can see the sniper out of your peripheral vision instead of being shot from the side.

Split screen Co-op will no longer leave a game an unplayable mess, especially when you have an entire wall as your screen. Combine this kind a technology with a surround sound system, and trust me, you have a completely unique gaming experience that has even the Oculus Rift beat.


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Author
Lui Galletto
If you are reading this, I have been kidnapped. They are forcing me to play video games against my will. Send help