The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset looks like a clear winner when it comes to complete gaming immersion. Microsoft's got a different idea to bring gamers closer to their gaming worlds: IllumiRoom, an augmented reality system that projects peripheral gameplay beyond the TV and onto surrounding walls and surfaces.
Microsoft's IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept technology based off the company's "Immersive Display Experience" patent, and boy, does it look amazing. There aren't a lot of details on how exactly IllumiRoom works, but here's what the Microsoft Research website says about it:
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.
As shown in the video below, IllumiRoom isn't quite a holodeck and the projections augmented onto a room's walls aren't nearly as sharp as a TV. But if Microsoft can somehow manage to get the tech into an Xbox, it'll have a chance at gaining some traction, much like Kinect.
Microsoft says it'll reveal more about IllumiRoom at the "ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems" in April.