Microsoft’s Illumiroom Xbox 360 Project Makes Your TV Size Irrelevant

Microsoft’s Illumiroom Xbox 360 Project Makes Your TV Size Irrelevant

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.

CVG reports that Microsoft is showing off the demo at CES, but will reveal more about the concept system at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris on April 27. [YouTube via CVG]


    • When I first heard of ambilight I thought it was extremely cool. After visiting a friends place that had one I had to ask him to switch the feature off after about 20mins as I found it distracting…

  • This is a really cool idea, but even just watching the video I was getting a bit disoriented and dizzy. Maybe it’s just me. Motion sickness sufferers will have a field day with this.

  • That guy in the video looks blazed as… cool idea as you are focused on the screen and the projector filling in the periphery as its sort of what our vision does normally.
    But it could prove pretty intense/ disorienting for some people, good way of noticing that player sneaking up in what would normally be your blind spot though..

  • It looks… Well… Laggy and to be honest… Power consuming… I mean, how many 360 games can run on 2 monitors or even at 1080p? think about the hardware that plays the games on 360… I have serious doubts about this…. Like, will it only work on Xbox backwards compatible games and not 360 games, or only on arcade games or games made for it like kinect games?

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