One of the big highlights of this year’s CES has been a raft of, well, raft-sized TV panels. Your puny little 42-inch Plasma just isn’t going to cut it any more according to the TV industry. An experimental project of Microsoft’s might change that perception, at least as it applies to gaming.
The Illumiroom Project uses a combination of a rear-mounted projector and the Kinect sensor to sort out the size of the display room — quite how isn’t entirely clear — to then, as you can see, project game imagery beyond the confines of the display screen. Or, to quote from Microsoft’s own documentation on the concept:
IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research. It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience.
Clever stuff, although it’s not going to be all that cheap once you get all the technology lined up. Tangentially, this kind of colour projection has been done before in a limited way; Philips had a range of TVs under the “Ambilight” brand (I know; I’ve still got one) that projected light based on the TV screen’s display behind the TV. It’s a nice effect, but not a vital one, whereas the concept video above does appear to mix real gameplay into your back wall.