Xbox IllumiRoom Projector Splashes Game Content All Over Room

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Xbox IllumiRoom Projector Splashes Game Content All Over Room

We'll probably see more of this at E3, but for now, get a look at this tasty demo.

It's just a proof-of-concept at the moment, but Microsoft has an interesting gadget for its next generation Xbox: the IllumiRoom projector, a device intended to make you think your TV just got huge. The last time we saw this there was just a brief snippet of information available, but now we can see a whole lot more of Microsoft's master plan. The intent is to augment the room whenever you display content, which means it can pull off all kinds of tricks, from extending your field of vision to making it seem as if the room and everything in it is vibrating in time with the game action. Want bullets flying through the air, perforating the plants and cat? Not a problem. Snowfall accumulating on the floor? Gotcha covered.

This device is using Kinect's ability to capture the colors and geometry of the room to augment the projector's display. It's supposed to be self calibrating and, theoretically, will work in any room. Moreover Microsoft isn't about to stop at video games; it has its eye on enhanced movies and television content as well. Even so, gaming is clearly where Microsoft sees initial take-up, as its research paper demonstrates. "The grenade rolls out of the television," the paper's motivating scenario imagines, "bounces off your coffee table and explodes in your living room, throwing shrapnel across your bookshelf. The entire living room appears to shake as you take damage from the explosion." Sounds like a fun Saturday night.

There's an occasional cloud on the horizon, as the demonstration video admits. Ambient light will cause issues - as it does with all projected images - and there needs to be some compensation for the contents of the room; you won't necessarily get a clear image off of a cluttered surface. Microsoft's also considering the possibility that simulator sickness might spoil play - basically, too much of a good thing makes you nauseous - but so far, its test paper claims, the simulator sickness quotient is within normal ranges for other immersive simulation devices.

Microsoft's taking its IllumiRoom on the road to CHI 2013 and, given its connection to the next-gen Xbox, it seems likely we'll be seeing it at E3 as well. If you're at all intrigued by the idea of extending your visual reach beyond the television screen, Microsoft thinks it has what you're after.

Source: The Verge

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Dear Microsoft: who gives a shit? Just tell me about the always-on DRM, so that I know whether or not I can hold on to my money. Thanks in advance.

That's actually pretty damn cool !!! . . . . now about those rumors of always on DRM?

Well this does actually look kinda awesome - especially when explosions and whatnot come out of the screen. However until they comfirm whether or not their console will be always online or not it is all irrelevant (I also wont trust that it will actually work if it is reliant on the kinect 2.0 to function.)

Interesting proof of concept. Now why would I buy one?

That looks obnoxious as fuck.
I mean, it's a neat idea, and I understand trying to approach virtual reality and stuff, but it looks like garbage.

It's like virtual reality, but shaped like your furniture!

Am I the only one who thought, when seeing the title, microsoft isn't "splashing" any "content" over my room, or do I just have a dirty mind.

hazabaza1:
That looks obnoxious as fuck.
I mean, it's a neat idea, and I understand trying to approach virtual reality and stuff, but it looks like garbage.

Exactly. Its gimmick that most likely has limited use and would give the player headaches.

Just properly support the Oculus Rift and maybe one of those Omni-directional treadmills. Oh, and get the Kinect latency down to something negligible. Then we don't need a smart projector, which will always have problems unless you build your room around it.

Good if you are playing on a blank wall with nothing in the way that will distort the image. But not interested. If everything off screen isnt important to the game then whats the point? I will just be concentrating on the tv screen.

But.

If you can watch movies projected on a big screen. An its perfect quality projection, then it could be worth it for that.

I am the only thinking that the TV is too far away? Either that or I've gotten too use to computer monitors.

Right... so I need about 3 meters of free space for that to work, and forget about using Kinect with that.

They could have just work on making Oculus Rift compatible or even try to compete with it instead of this useless thing. Its kind of cool, I get it but really?

The Gentleman:
Interesting proof of concept. Now why would I buy one?

From what I heard, it is part of the game console itself, much like the kinect or motion bar for the Wii. So it might be sold along with the console. Or it could be just a small addon like the camera thingy for the PS3.

It seems kind of cool, but I've got 2 problems.

1. I don't have that much space to sit away from the tv in my room.
2. I don't have a coffee table in my room. (Also, I don't have enough space to put z coffee table between me and the tv if I had one.)

I'd be more interested in this if I had a private room big enough to enjoy it, because I'd only use it for extended field of vision.
Wake me when they've made the porn version: Illuminaughty

WOAH!!!! WOW!!!! Another damn useless gimmick.

I like the concept, but it looks like poor execution. Plus how is the projector powered? if it needs plugging in, its going to be something that needs setting up for every use unless you want cables trailing across the room, which brings up how safe is it to use in the dark with said cables?

DVS BSTrD:
Illuminaughty

LOL very good sir

Cool idea, little limited by practical obstacles

Love how few people are distracted from the Always-on issue, which I guarantee is why they released this tech video

Am I the only one who can't shake the feeling that using this will cut frame rates in half, or worse?

I mean, it'd basically be like running a second screen, meaning you have to render everything for that. Given the higher FoV, it could even take up more power than the main screen does.

Well I doubt this will come as part of the nextbox, certain its a addon device because projectors are expensive... and the higher the quality of the projection the more expensive the projector, also its expensive to replace parts that have a limited life time.

It also wont be that well supported by developers, who would want to spend that much extra time to add a feature only a fraction could access, and it there isnt any support from 3rd party developers it wont attract that fraction who could afford it.

Finally it would have all sort of health issues, I doubt its very healthy on your eyesight as its usually advised to watch movies/play games in a well lit room... to get the most out this system you need to turn off the lights.

Nice idea but a gimmick that will lose attraction very quickly, especially if its tied to the other gimmicky toy that promised so much and hasnt delivered a single must have application for it yet (and its going to ver 2 already without a single must have app on ver 1).

This would have been a nice concept if the Oculus Rift hadn't came along and completely obliterated this idea. Microsoft should just work on getting that natively compatible.

Have I become so cynical that I instantly see this and think bad idea? I don't really understand how it will improve game play experience. It just seems gimmicky. Cool, but gimmicky.

So what about when the TV is in the corner, like it is in my living room? If the concept works well enough then why bother with the TV? Why not just a good projector that compensates for it not being a white flat surface?

This is perfect! I remember thinking to myself, "You know what? I just spent a boatload of cash on a new, high definition television set. What I really want from my games is to bleed elements off of my TV in a low resolution manner."

I like games. I like games cheap. This is just an expense that companies would absorb for what is essentially an annoying feature. I don't want my living room to be the center of attention. I don't want my bookcase and Pikachu hat to become part of a game. I want whats contained in my TV to be part of the game. Everything else is just a waste of resources - something I'll have to absorb as the consumer, for what ammounts to a gimmick.

Lets not also forget how much of a pain in the ass having something for your TV mounted on your coffee table is. First off, if your in a room with no coffee table, or a non-traditional setup, then screw you! You're not getting the functionality you paid for. Second off, running a cord out from my TV across my living room is a, survey says, TRIPPING HAZARD! Thats why people loved the transition to wireless. Thats why most consoles and DVD players are situated next to or under the TV. It essentially says "Hey, do you have a toddler, cat, or dog in the house? Well screw you buddy, looks like you'll be dealing with broken peripherals and the console getting yanked from the TV set."

Its a cool bit of technology, much like the Kinect, but like the Kinect, I have to ask myself "What does this add to my experience? Why should I absorb the cost of manufacturing this thing?" To me, much like the kinect, it falls within the Uncanny Vally of peripherals. With the Kinect, we couldn't mimic exact movements completely (like putting your foot out or running in place translating to movement). It feels unsettling to us because its TOO close to reality, but not close enough. Same with this. It is immersion breaking to look into the foreground and and notice that its not the game, just the game plastered on your uneven living room. Its immersion breaking to see a first person shooter that makes the whole room into the screen, but not see the characters feet or other body parts - that FPS scene in general just makes it look like a floating hand with a gun.

The bullets flying our the screen is actually amazing for immersion, and a lot of really cool stuff could be done with it - but that alone is not worth the cost to develop. And its something that any 3D TV could already do.

For the love of fuck and shark cheddar cheese, just focus on games and multimedia. We don't need gimmicks. We don't need gotcha's. We don't need this or that or a yellow hat. We need games. No fancy science-fair hardware will change that.

I'm calling it, in two to three years this will becoming a cutting edge way to order pizza through your console.

The Porn will be everywhere

Everyone at Microsoft seems to believe that all gamers live in mansions with spartan rooms the size of football pitches. First came the Kinect which needed a minimum floor area of an aircraft hangar to work properly and now this, a device which requires ten cubic miles of blank, featureless wall space and the headroom to hang a massive projector?

I just want to play good video games! *Sobs*

Proverbial Jon:
Everyone at Microsoft seems to believe that all gamers live in mansions with spartan rooms the size of football pitches. First came the Kinect which needed a minimum floor area of an aircraft hangar to work properly and now this, a device which requires ten cubic miles of blank, featureless wall space and the headroom to hang a massive projector?

I just want to play good video games! *Sobs*

*pats back*

we all do

This is so cool... Now I'm conflicted:(

I'm a bit surprised by all the negativity surrounding this.

Sure, some of the modes are a bit gimmicky but I really liked the option to desaturate the colours in your room and some of the motion enhancing stuff was quite nice. I can imagine some developers making nice use of this gizmo.

I'm just glad Microsoft aren't trying to add a tablet to their controllers ;)

Its nothing revolutionary or anything but its a cool idea. If I had a projector I'd definately use it those 2 or 3 times a year I play Xbox.

So much negativity. I believe that the next step of gamings evolution is an increased emphasis on augmented reality. This seems like a great way to bring AR to the living room without alienating everyone without a pair of whatever Microsofts google goggles analogue will be called. Wii U is doing a great job proving to the world that asynchronous gaming is probably not going to work out so this may be the next best thing.

It may need some tweaking but I'm impressed and excited to see more.

I laugh at the people saying "wow, this looks cool!"

No, it looks like a way to severely strain your eyes. The off-screen rendering has a terrible quality. This is going to have the same problems that the 3DS had with regards to eye strain, but magnified significantly.

Perhaps more damning, though, is that the video indicates that it basically has no way of dealing with games that aren't built with the device in mind or designed with ways to extend line-of-sight naturally. The Portal demo shows quite clearly that it doesn't have the foggiest clue of what's going on in the game world, so it creates this strange plaid patrtern behind the wall that doesn't match the in-game environment at all. Yeah, that'll increase my immersion for sure!

So in other words, developers will have to develop with this system in mind, otherwise it won't be able to do ANY of the fancy things it claims to be able to do. The special lighting, bullet effects, etc? Devs will have to program all of those things into the XBox ports of their games, otherwise this device will be incapable of rendering ANY of those things at all. Which means it'll turn into the "Wiimote Waggle" of this gen, with MS forcing developers to add token gestures of recognition for this device into their games, and devs will either refuse to do so or will stop developing for the console entirely.

Another gadget made for people with massive gaming areas? I see no problems with that...again.

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