We've seen TV monitors that light up, but Microsoft is taking this whole immersion thing to a whole new level. Microsoft Research has been keeping busy, and at this week's CES in Vegas, showed off IllumiRoom, a proof-of-concept project involving the Kinect peripheral and lights. Lots and lots of lights.
The whole idea behind this "augment" is to create a more immersive gaming experience, as the video below shows. Here's a brief (and likely simplified) explanation for how the whole thing works:
IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.
Our system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics. What you see in the videos below has been captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production.
All very fascinating. Now here's the actual video. Impressively enough, none of the effects you see were added in post-processing; it's all real time.
Pretty fun to watch. Granted, I'm wondering if all of this might be a tad overwhelming in practice, but hey, it's a cool concept. Won't even need to leave a light on for late-night gaming sessions.