Microsoft’s RoomAlive turns your den into a video game level


Remember IllumiRoom ? It’s the Microsoft Research project that pairs an Xbox Kinect with a projector to extend your TV onto a wall, with immersive (and hallucinogenic) effects. Redmond has just revealed that IllumiRoom 2.0 is now called RoomAlive and is a huge leap over what it was last year . The new system projects content throughout your entire room that you can interact with (or shoot), as shown in the insane video below. Instead of a single Kinect and projector, it uses multiple “procams” consisting of off-the-shelf projectors, Kinects and a smaller computer to control them. Microsoft claims that it’s completely auto-calibrating and self-locating, enabling it to calculate the entire 3D geometry of your room in minutes. Once installed, RoomAlive can track multiple players and weapons, letting them hit or blow up creatures, whack-a-mole style. It can also project textures and cyber-critters onto your walls and furniture, transforming your den into a holodeck or a factory, for example. Another demo brought to mind the 3D game in the movie Her , with the players controlling a character that tries to avoid being killed by “robots” emerging from your walls and floor. Finally, there’s a game that requires you to physically dodge booby traps, with any failure resulting in a bloody wound projected virtually onto your body. It looks amazing, but we were also excited by Illumiroom’s potential, and it’s still far from becoming an actual product you can buy. In any case, not too many folks could afford to rig up a room with multiple projectors and Kinects the way Microsoft did. Still, like Oculus , it’s not hard to see huge potential in the research. And unlike the Rift, it could one day transform games into something that actually gets you off the couch. [Image credits: Microsoft Research] Filed under: Gaming , Microsoft Comments Source: Microsoft

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Microsoft’s RoomAlive turns your den into a video game level


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