Microsoft Wants to Bring Video Games Outside TV-Set with IllumiRoom Technology

Microsoft IllumiRoom Projector to Show Video Game Content Outside TV

by Anton Shilov
04/29/2013 | 11:59 PM

No matter how big an HDTV screen is, it has its limitations. Microsoft Corp. is working on a technology that could enhance video game experience outside the TV-set, something that will clearly make video games much more immersive. The small-sized IllumiRoom projector is expected to be launched along with the next-gen Xbox game console.


Officially, Microsoft IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system that augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualizations to enhance traditional gaming experiences. Microsoft is investigating how projected visualizations in the periphery can negate, include, or augment the existing physical environment and complement the content displayed on the television screen. Peripheral projected illusions can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new physical gaming experiences.

IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment and allows to combine the virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, etc..

The IllumiRoom 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.

Microsoft claims that its system is entirely self-calibrating and is designed to work in any room. While Microsoft officially does not tie the IllumiRoom to Xbox Next code-named “Durango”, it can absolutely do so eventually when both products are ready, reports The Verge web-site. Moreover, when Microsoft claims that the video it released on Monday was filmed in real time, it means both software and hardware are ready, but have not yet been packed in a final product yet.

Quite naturally, it will take some time before game developers learn how to use the new IllumiRoom technology. Therefore, it may not make it to market this year, but may be presented as a companion device for the Xbox Next.