Microsoft reveals new Xbox IllumiRoom concept

Proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research uses Kinect camera to combine virtual and physical worlds.

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Microsoft has offered a glimpse into what the future of gaming may look like. The company's Research team has detailed on its website a visual IllumiRoom system that combines the virtual and physical worlds using a Kinect camera.

As shown in the video below (which does not use any special effects), the system can alter the appearance of a room, trigger apparent motion, and extend a field of view, all in the name of enabling new gameplay experiences.

IllumiRoom uses the features and geometry of a room, captured by Kinect, to alter the projected visuals in real-time. A custom pre-process arrangement is not necessary.

The technology is currently in a proof-of-concept stage, and it is not clear if Microsoft plans to incorporate the technology into the Xbox 360 or its rumored successor. Microsoft will divulge more information on the IllumiRoom technology at the human-computer interaction ACM SIGCHI conference in Paris, France, which runs April 27-May 2.

Discussion

554 comments
sekrit_skworl
sekrit_skworl

Why did it look like the girl was playing Nintendo's "Mario Kart"?  is this real, or a fake fan video?

sekrit_skworl
sekrit_skworl

Why does it look like the girl is playing Nindendo's "Mario Kart"?  Is this real, or a fake fan concept? 

If this is real, it could be an awesome concept for expanding play surface.  Everyone complaining that they don't like it need to realax, it's an option, not a requirement.  And, I am very confident that this is just one of MANY new features if it is released, they wouldn't just throw this on and expect it to be the end of the system update... there will be plenty of other enhancements as well.

I welcome anything that they throw in as an addtional option, I mean, If the system is going to have to stay at a reasonable price point to sell competitively, then why should you scoff at an amazing new optional feature.

I understand that some have projectors, but if you're playing at a friend's or family member's place, do you really want to take the projector with you too, for a few hours of game play, just to have to lug it back?

Everyone relax, and just rejoice at new options and features in a reasonable price range. :-D

N4o7A
N4o7A

Kinda confused what's projecting the extra images n stuff, is it the kinect? Didn't see lights emanating from it, but then again this is a concept video...

blackace
blackace

Hhhmm.. can't do that with the MOVE. Really nice effect, but it might not be that effective in a brightly lit room or a room that has a lot of sunshine coming in. In the dark however, this could be pretty awesome.

vannacut
vannacut

oh man, they innovated the s..t out of kinect since it s released, to shove it in our bank statements, and still innovating, stubbornly, a piece of thing, that failed to satisfy with every innovation it s suffered... soon kinect will cook your meal and do your laundries, even watch your kids for you , and yet it will not satisfy me! i hate it like that!

Setzera
Setzera

Though it's a cool concept, I wonder about the whole "play in a well lit room" that is usually in any game manual.  Seems like the lights have to be off with this thing.

Flinet91
Flinet91

Please make it real! I want one so badly!

SilenceLasting
SilenceLasting

I really hope this makes it's way to final production.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

IllumiRoom is where all the Illuminati hang out, plotting the downfall of Western Civilization. ;)

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

Another step closer to the holodeck!

trollkind
trollkind

Looks awesome as a concept but like stereoscopic gaming will probably not see extended use as that should make you nauseous pretty quick. Constantly having the room spin around you without your body giving you the same signals is only fun for a short while.
Looks like it would be awesome for home parties though. Why did the PS1 have the best music Visualizations of all the playstations? I fondly remember popping a CD in there and influence the vis with my controller. As much as I like the calming and beautiful Earth rendition on the PS3, the whole music visualization was obviously an afterthought. Consoles are supposed to be the media center of your living room after all.

puukusa
puukusa

Cool, hope this is going to be implemented!

Kane04
Kane04

It's a cool IDEA, in the real world everyday gaming I don't think so.

And lets not forget, most of us don't have "catalog livingrooms", I don't think many devs will wanna waste that much processing power.

Aragorn823
Aragorn823

Yay ~ lights surrounding the TV lol~!! I don't have THAT much wall space in my small room.. oh ~ and I have a PS3 and not the box so this has nothing to do with me anyway.. *Actually I just watched the video and the light effects look pretty cool~!!* :o

Setho10
Setho10

Amazing how much people complain. This is a cool piece of tech. It can expand your field of view beyond a 16:9 display. That is helpful from both a gameplay perspective and a graphics perspective. It is a cool tech that could be really useful. I would like to see it implemented in a new console.

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

The "future of gaming"??? How is this interesting at all... if you want to feel like you're inside the game then get a projection screen the size of your wall and expand the resolution so that it also takes up room below, above and to your sides. That looks really moronic to me... I can't believe this is what they are wasting their time and money on in terms of "innovation". Ughh... just another thing that's making me not care about the next Xbox... I've never not bought a console in each generation except for the Sega Saturn because that thing was pointless to get really... aside from Panzer Dragoon Saga and maybe two or three other games. This next generation might have me sitting with just my PS4 and Wii U though... I'm scared that this might be the case since I was so happy about the first two Microsoft consoles. Xbox Live really stepped the game up for multiplayer and has been the benchmark ever since. I hope Sony manages to make something as good or better so I don't feel like I'm missing out on great online experiences. So far I've been pretty damn disappointed with the Wii U's online functionality, but I only have NSMBU right now... I still thought they'd make the game co-op online though... why the hell not!? We're in 2013 guys... it's not hard to code the game to work online... they really don't understand how important an online gaming community is to the long living success of a console... I stopped buying games for my Wii only a year after release, and there were only a handful that I bothered buying. It's starting to look like I might not be supporting Nintendo for too much longer either... what a sad year this could end up being for gaming... I've been a hardcore gamer since birth... what the hell am I going to do! Good thing my PC is still rocking.

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

Interesting and can lead to something different. Afterall it's a plus not a must.

not_to_bad
not_to_bad

I don't really dig it. It is cool and a little bit different but it's not that innovative. I don't think extending the game outside of the television/monitor is such a big deal. The focus should not be breaking the monotonous rectangle yet but improving it. I don't mean graphics alone but content as well, at least maximise it's potential first before thinking about what isn't on the screen. Other than that, kudos for the forward thinking.

Leefx
Leefx

As shown in the video below (which does not use any special effects),  PMSL is it April already??!!

TommyBarban
TommyBarban

against a naked wall I can see this work, just a screen in front of a white wall, that's the ticket

isshiah
isshiah

looks interesting, but i'll keep my screen and controller for now, thank you.

none of these new fangled controller-less games with strange wall climbing graphics for me. haha

Trenchman
Trenchman

I''m just curious how this is better than just using a projector?  I have a 1080P projector and I can't see how this is better than using that.  I guess if you don't a whole wall to project on, but than it's only used for effects like the waving, snowing, and other accentuating effects which, although interesting, don't really add to the game experience.  I don't mean to crap on Microsoft for this, it is an interesting effect, but I don't really see it as being of much use.

angubaranar123
angubaranar123

3D sucks cos you need to wear glasses.
3DS sucks cos you don't need to wear glasses, but it's not a Vita.
Vita sucks cos it's just a PS3 portable.
Razer Fiona sucks because it's just a tablet that costs too much.

Pong is pretty much enough for every player, most of the people just don't realize that.


The only downside this thing is that 360 has dated graphics... so making such a device is like playing Pong in 3D.
Microsoft, please make a new console first (and if possible make that thing available for PC).

Regarding making better games, not gonna happen, casual gamers are the present and the future of videogaming industry. They don't play cracked games and just need advertising to buy and enjoy something. The dream client.

bobdimstar
bobdimstar

i dont need features like this,i just need my game to play right instead of graphics over content

vault-boy
vault-boy

When something this cool is made and people will still bitch about it it really goes to show how hilariously arrogant people are on the internet. 

plasticreality
plasticreality

Interesting idea, though I still think VR (Oculus Rift) will be far more immersive.  It will also be available within a couple of years easily.

If you haven't looked into the Rift yet, you should.  From what everyone says, it's incredibly light and comfortable.  Once they get the resolution higher it will likely be the coolest thing for 1st person gaming (and potentially 3rd person games).

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

If the Kinect is looking directly at you, then how does it produce those kinds of effects on the wall behind it?

sribz
sribz

@gbrading  LMFAO, imagine the possibilities... of controlling everyone's minds with the new technology.... actually kinda scary

killer90210
killer90210

@Andrex1212  read this trash in a feedbackula voice.... cant wait to see u feature if they make an episode for this

blackace
blackace

@Leefx Only in your mind, but that's probably every day.

SamehH99
SamehH99

@isshiah I don't think anyone has mentioned anything about no controller, the guy was clearly playing with one.

killer90210
killer90210

@Trenchman maybe because not everyone can afford a 1080p projector and having this  might be a cheaper substitution not a step up?? just maybe tho

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Trenchman But what if...you used a projector AND this ?! 

Seriously though, we'll just have to wait and see if it's actually cool or another disappointment related to the Kinect.

buccomatic
buccomatic

@Trenchman i agree.

it won't work for me. my 24 inch monitor won't be able to be placed in a way that it will project onto a wall.

Kane04
Kane04

@angubaranar123 Agree on casuals remark, video games have become like movies or books, they don't need substance anymore, just some "flashy tits"

Real gamers are a niche now a days.

DreamsofGreen
DreamsofGreen

What are you blabbering about? This is not 3d(per say, more of extended screen effect), it is not a hand held system, and 360 is as up to par as it gets on graphics for gaming consules. So im not even sure what you are referencing it to, computers maybe???.... not even the same thing. The whole idea is an interesting concept and im curious to what it leads to

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@vault-boy How is this even remotely "cool"... it's projecting extra portions of the screen on your entertainment system and remaining sections of your wall (assuming you don't have posters or pictures that are meant to decorate your walls like I do). There is absolutely no positive aspect of this... it's a waste of time and money to develop. They could put money towards their next console, or some kind of technology gamers have been craving since the introduction of gaming... virtual reality!

TommyBarban
TommyBarban

some people are suspicious of change, others are open to it, the latter sounds more interesting to me. I never ripped on 3D for example, I've tried it but my brain doesn't like it so I was bummed about not being able to enjoy a more immersive gaming experience, but this looks great, bigger an better IMO

buccomatic
buccomatic

@vault-boy i like it, but it won't work for me because i have no way of positioning my monitor near a wall to make it work.



TimeFrame
TimeFrame

@vault-boy Lol, my thoughts exactly.. people don't believe in magic anymore. :)


Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@gamerboy100 I was wondering this too... I have no idea how the hell the Kinect could do this... and who even has a Kinect still? That thing is one of the biggest flops since the Virtual Boy... although it's worse because at least the Virtual Boy included the use of the controller unlike 90% of the Kinect games. But back to your point; there is no portion of the Kinect that emits light, so how does this even make sense? Guess we have to go out and buy the Kinect 2.0 for this "AMAZING" technology... *sneer*

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Andrex1212 @vault-boy Have you watched the video ? It's not just projecting extra portions of the screen. They can make some actual effects with the light, that is if they do it right. Which they likely won't and it's gonna suck.

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@TimeFrame @vault-boy Personally, I just don't believe in Microsoft. Kinect was a huge disappointment and is only fun to browse through Netflix. If this actually works as intended, then I'll be impressed, and happy, cuz I can buy a new toy.