Microsoft IllumiRoom: turn your room into a virtual game world

During CES, Microsoft showed off IllumiRoom, a new technology that turns your environment into part of games or movies; a step into the future of virtual gaming.

A lot of incredibly advanced and stunning technology has come out of CES 2013 including some updates and previews on other virtual gaming gear like the Oculus Rift but something just announced by Microsoft really stole the spotlight this year. During Samsung’s keynote at CES 2013, Microsoft demonstrated IllumiRoom, a new technology that I talked about in one of my articles awhile back about the future of gaming and virtual gaming. The new technology that Microsoft had patented has finally come before consumer eyes, the tech turns the entire room you are playing in part of the game or movie. IllumiRoom uses Kinect and a projector to blur on screen content and the environment around you to combine virtual and physical worlds.

 “Blending our virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations.”

Microsoft actually showed a demonstration of the technology at work during the keynote, which you can watch below in its entirety. Microsoft said that the video demo shown off below during the CES keynote, was captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production, which is extraordinary with some of the environment effects. Microsoft explained that IllumiRoom “augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience” and “can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.” The Kinect captures the layout and arrangement of any room and adapts projected visuals in real time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics, which makes this no ordinary projector; breaking the borders of a TV. Crazy right?

The video shows off some seriously mind blowing effects, such as an entire room pulsing, snow falling and stars surrounding the room around the tv. IllumiRoom really looks to create a more immersible gaming or movie experience. The video looks great, and hopefully operates just as good as it looks. Microsoft hasn’t announced if IllumiRoom will be included with the next Xbox and Kinect 2.0 however.
In the hands of developers a ton more can be done than what’s shown in this small video demo, which has a lot of people excited including myself. If virtual gaming continues to look this good, sign me up.

  1. TelcoLou’s avatar

    This would give me vertigo; I already get bad motion sickness from 1st-person games.

    Reply

    1. Kenster240’s avatar

      Yeah, me too.

      Reply

    2. lumenia’s avatar

      yeah many ppl

      Reply

  2. wololo’s avatar

    That’s it, my next generation console will be a Microsoft

    Reply

    1. ue’s avatar

      you need to have your own projector too btw…

      Reply

      1. Stiffeno’s avatar

        I just bought a BenQ MW516 projector 2 days ago, only cost me $599 bux Aussie Dollars, projectors arent just for the super rich anymore!

        Reply

        1. ue’s avatar

          Yeah however to spend $599 on a projector of medium quality JUST for this would be a bit overboard, it is more than the game and console combined for a relatively limited effect (Remember that the video there is a proof of concept MOCK UP not how it actually looks)

          Reply

    2. HeroEduard0’s avatar

      Well done! ;)

      Reply

  3. ponytheone’s avatar

    Omg if it looks this good irl its amazing!

    Reply

  4. Dovahkiin’s avatar

    There goes my electricity bill… :)

    Reply

  5. megaman781’s avatar

    i can easily see it would cause eye strain, just get a good quality projector, and projected on the freaking sofa if you want

    Reply

  6. mangosteam’s avatar

    WOw looks cool

    Reply

  7. quetz’s avatar

    this is sick. pre-order??? :P i WANT it

    Reply

  8. wartaf’s avatar

    great!! is it on the market?

    Reply

  9. AntiHeadshot’s avatar

    Who the hell is sitting 3m (9feet) away from his tv playing games, to notice this efects?

    Reply

    1. Mr. Magoo’s avatar

      Depends on the size of your TV. I personally sit about that distance in my game room for my 47″ tv. The plan is for a 90″ in the future. Lets just say that is in the much future. Lol.

      Reply

      1. Stiffeno’s avatar

        Just buy a projector like I did 2 days ago, mine can go up to 300 inches which is 762cm or 25 feet LOL, bigger than any screen a typical gamer could ever afford, currently got mine set at 79″ or 200cm coz I dont have a very big room.

        Mine only cost me $599 Australian dollars, so in the US (if you are from the US that is) it would be cheap as chips!

        Reply

        1. ue’s avatar

          Yeah but the contrast values, sharpness and image quality are all lower than a good quality screen. Not to mention projecting pixels that large over a wall is just ugh.

          Reply

      2. Stiffeno’s avatar

        When consumer 90″ tvs do come on the market they will cost a furtune! tens of thousands!

        Reply

        1. Robert’s avatar

          When? sony just put out its first 87″ 4000k display tv. at a starting price of 25,000.00. there is no when but a now at least you got the tens of thousands of dollars thing right

          Reply

  10. Tonakai’s avatar

    I’d love to have this on a computer. Since it’s Microsoft it’s likely that will be a reality, or the console accessory could eventually be usable on a PC.

    Reply

    1. ue’s avatar

      would rather an oculus solution far better for immersion. This I see as more of a gimmick

      Reply

  11. reaper527’s avatar

    i really hope this is included with the next xbox. that is the only way to ensure that it will get real attention from developers as opposed to being an ignored (but awesome) add-on.

    regardless, this is cool looking tech. can’t wait to see it hit market

    Reply

  12. Czarcasm’s avatar

    Hopefully the UNO exploit works on this

    Reply

    1. Czarcasm You are brilliant’s avatar

      You just made my day, well done sir.

      Reply

  13. gjanko2’s avatar

    Since when did Microsoft produce Mario Kart?

    Reply

    1. Lawlwyut’s avatar

      Exactly my point.

      Reply

  14. Dimitris’s avatar

    if that’s the next xbox i am selling my ps3 right now

    Reply

  15. Rob’s avatar

    This would put me off the game because I’d be not concentrating on the screen

    Reply

  16. Lorz’s avatar

    No offense, but i’ve seen all kinds of crazy stuff done with projectors, such as people projecting animated singing faces onto pumpkins for halloween….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9fzhcYYAWA

    This looks pretty gimmicky…. what’s stopping you from hooking your xbox 360 up to a projector right now and getting the same effect with a little imaginative projector work? yeah yeah, i get the software decides what’s going to the projector and what not, but it really looked like they were just super imposing the game screen in alot of the demos.

    Reply

    1. Chezni’s avatar

      This is gonna get old really quickly. It’s too distracting, I’d rather hack apart a prostitute in a Korean brothel at a glorious 4k resolution.

      Reply

  17. Acid_Snake’s avatar

    knowing how microsoft is, marketing will make it look awesome but the final product will be flawed, I can already see flaws in it, like needing a dark room. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I’m just saying it will most likely be badly executed, or in need of more advancement.

    Reply

  18. hgoel0974’s avatar

    Perfect, now all we need is some better motion controls, better AI and heat,pain and smell simulation and we will finally have the perfect gaming console ;)

    Reply

    1. Lorz’s avatar

      Maybe a scratch ‘n’ sniff pad on the controllers? A spring loaded boxing glove in a box accessory to punish you when you mess up? The next gen gaming consoles just might end up looking something like this.
      http://bjnix248.deviantart.com/art/Wile-E-Coyote-with-a-computer-204657860

      Reply

  19. William A.U.’s avatar

    Wow.. speechless. Now that’s what I’ve been envisioning as 3-D gaming.. Looks like it’s finally happening. In real life gaming but more realistic than ever before. Microsoft’s got me hooked on this one..

    Reply

  20. razor’s avatar

    What the hell?… Microsoft doesn’t make Mario Kart. In the words of the late Whitney Houston. That is WHACK!!!

    Reply

  21. nCadeRegal’s avatar

    I see this as another microsoft coughkinectcough, EPIC FAIL. THey will tell you how great it is and how much it can do and then noone will support it. just my opinion.

    Reply

  22. shinra358’s avatar

    First thing I thought of when I saw the snow part was Paranormal Activity 4 xD

    Reply

  23. KUROKO’s avatar

    Makes you wonder if this is a real video from Microsoft or not looks like false advertising to me or either they forgot to not play there homebrew on there Microsoft during there short video. Hello Tech Support how can I help you…. yes I am playing my new system and I cannot get my kinect to recognize my N64 homebrew…..That would be illegal sir….what do you mean your company made the video showing mario and koopa racing…..who sir? mario from nintendo….oh yes sir this is microsoft kinect……errrrrrrr nevermind…………click!!!!

    Reply

  24. Stiffeno’s avatar

    I would def be interested in a system like this! Would be awesome! But you would need a biggish room and the ability to keep the room dark! No prob in our lounge room though as we have those security metal shutters on all the windows and blinds AND drapes LOL, no light can get into that room once its locked down!

    Reply

  25. Its Not Mario’s avatar

    To all those saying they see Mario Kart, you’re unfortunately wrong.

    While I don’t know what the game is, that is some kind of dinosaur in the car. Pause at like 1:48 and full screen. You can see that it is not Mario, and that there is an icon of a dinosaurs mouth on the left side, not to mention the speedometer is not a Mario-kart style speedometer.

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      The video states that this is Super Tux Cart, so there is no debate required :)

      Reply

  26. KUROKO’s avatar

    A your right its not mario kart I watched this video right after I woke up it really looked like mario though lol sorry I made everyone think it was mario cart lol made yall look!

    Reply

  27. Asdfjuma’s avatar

    This makes me excited to be where I am now, just about to begin university. By the time I’m out I should be right in the thick of all of these new virtual reality techs as they are getting ready to make an impact. :)

    Reply

  28. Lion_Amongst_Men’s avatar

    This is my next Gen console for sure! this post and video as an entire just blew my mind!!! If this works on the current Xbox than im set ^^ I already have a projector/Kinect and a Xbox360 :3 Whooo! and just when i thought gaming tech could not advance any further!!!! e.e

    Plus if you have a projector its great for watching movies!!! so if your thinking its just a waste of money to get a projector for a game its not because you can vitually turn any wall into a tv with the projector itself so microsoft just earned some points for making this happen :)

    Reply

  29. jurasicgamer’s avatar

    I KNEW IT !! …..

    Reply

  30. someoncool’s avatar

    Microsoft, PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY,this is too cool and I must have this.

    Reply

  31. razor’s avatar

    Great work Microsoft! Seems like it’s time to abandon Sony.

    Reply

  32. TheZekku’s avatar

    the only thing i can see good with this is MAYBE homebrew but thats it im just getting sick of this vr/ar/kinect/motion trend cmon guys keep games on a screen and controler

    Reply

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