The Next Xbox Could Transform Your Living Room Into One Massive 3D Display

It's not quite holodeck technology, but it's not far off. A patent filed back in March by Microsoft describes advanced display technology that extends the gaming environment from the television to all four walls of a room.

Imagine playing a Call of Duty or Gears of War and being able to see an enemy approaching from your peripheral vision. How about being able to look over your shoulder to see how close your competitors are in a racing game? Microsoft's patent, simply titled Immersive Display Experience, is geared towards making that happen.

The patent, discovered at Patently Apple, lays out technology that's far more advanced than simply projecting an image around the room.

The tech revolves around a device called the Environmental Display (the webcam-looking device atop the television in the picture), an RGB projector that handles the task of extending the display beyond the television, wrapping the gamer's room in graphics. A depth camera, integrated into the peripheral, could be used to help map the user's environment, with the projected image corrected to compensate for furniture and other objects -- instead of seeing a chair painted with light, the projected image would adjust in order to help your furniture blend in.

That sounds excitingly dangerous, doesn't it?

Meanwhile the Kinect, also seen atop the TV in the image, could be used to track a user's movements. Eyes could be tracked so that projected areas would come into focus depending on where the user is looking. The Kinect would also be used to determine where the user is standing so the projector can avoid hitting them in the face with a bright beam of light, which is probably an important thing.

The patent even suggests that the player would be able to enjoy a truly immersive 3D experience by utilising active shutter glasses that synchronise with both the television and Environment Display.

It's an incredibly ambitious technology that could change the way people play video games. It also sounds like it would be relatively worthless in a well-lit room, but who games in a well-lot room anyway?

IMMERSIVE DISPLAY EXPERIENCE [US Patent Office via Patently Apple]


Comments

    Unfortunately this will not work with only a single device. There would always be dead space where light can't reach. Edges of the tv screen or behind you. So shadows would detract from this. Also, the surrounding areas would likely be of lower resolution due to their surfaces projected upon and as a result would only enhance your peripheral vision. As we've seen with devices like track IR unless the monitor moves with your head movement this type of stuff is unlikely to add value.

    But hey that shouldn't stop crazy ass applications as these will always generate innovation that may lead to yet unthought of stuff which is cool. Dream big MS!

      But remember also that 3D glasses are used on flat surfaces. So if it's projected an dis tracking your head, it could display anything it wanted from your point of view. Very exciting in my opinion where this could lead!

    Wow that totally wouldn't work in my lounge room.

    I reckon this is fantastic. If Microsoft can include this as a built in feature, I'm buying their box day one. Graphics on PS4 and Xbox 720 will both be on par, they both need something unique to set them apart.

    Kinect already requires a stupidly large amount of space and a super set up room to work properly (especially with 2 players), imagine how much of a bloody nightmare this would be.

    Not going to happen, the future of games is in head mounted displays, much like sony's HMZ-T2, hardly anyone will be able to have room for and afford 3 gigantic T.V's

      no and no.

      As it looks head mounted displays arent exactly taking off, its a good idea but its not exactly a hit with consumers having to put on a helmet to watch TV/Game, and you dont need 3 extra tvs i believe its a projector that projects to 3 walls beside/behind the player.

      Sounds good in theory but not in practice unless you have the specified requirements. And im pretty sure not everyone has the same arrangement in their living rooms.

        You probably need to catch up on the state of HMD's mate. Just recently a kickstarter, backed by John Carmack, got a ridiculous number of day1 pre-orders for it. It also just looks amazing. People who've tried out the prototype say its like nothing else they've seen. Give HMD's a year or two and I have little to no doubt we'll be able to buy a HMD for less than $300 that'll give you a seriously awesome experience that nothing else will for some time to come.

          Im not doubting how good they are, im simply saying until these units become as readily available or as widespread as your average Flatscreen TV then we can say its the future. You cant base your assumptions on how good the tech is or on preorder numbers. Once it hits the general market then we can see exactly if consumers will flock to the new tech. I have my doubts. Look at 3D there are people that still complain they dont want to wear glasses to watch a movie and now your saying they have to wear a helmet like device? Sure its amazing but not everyone wants to deal with a helmet just to watch TV. Thats the problem plain and simple.

          Sure the Techies will lap HMDs up(as they do with all new technology), thats not a surprise, its the regular consumer that will decide and as yet i havent seen anything that suggest that HMDs will be some runaway success as some here are suggesting.

    Laughable. Absolutely laughable.

    If this does happen, it won't be out till at least halfway through the 720 lifecycle.

    I wonder how many people actually play games in a room with 4 walls. I certainly don't, and even if I did I don't have a single room in my house that just has 4 blank walls. I have things like shelves, pictures and even a piano up against them.

      Windows, doors, oddly angled walls...

      Really, this just seems like microsoft is patent trolling. Just in case any one else developes something similar, they have a design patent they could use for litigation.

    Well if you get out of your limited thinking you may actually see this has some huge potential. Initially you'd want a "blank room" to use. Alternatively you could change the device operational the main wall if always your centre focus or "reticule" if you like. So the view is immersive but operates how and FPS would, you move the controller or you gestures and the screen scrolls to the centre wall etc. There is also much room for adding a second or third device. There is also potential for tracking multiple players in the same environment. Seriously just widen you vision a little and you can find lots of potential. Just look at all the Kinect hacks people...

    I game in a gaming corner of my bedroom so I can play GTA without impressionable 3 year olds asking why i'm laughing after running over the people. I have a Wii in the lounge room for family gaming time, is that the market they are aiming for?? because I cant see many wives being overly enthusiastic for turning the family room into the jungles of Vietnam or war torn beirut.

    Someones been watching gamer

    *throws wallet at screen*
    TAKE MY MONEY!

    As I can only use one eye at a time due to being born this way I can't expieriance 3D visuals. I can't processes stereoscopic images or do magic eye (remember that?). So meh to that shit.

    Ray Bradbury's "The Veld". Look it up

    How about they just focus on getting games to play at 60fps on 1080p first?

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