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Microsoft Games

IllumiRoom To Take Gaming Visuals Outside the Box and Onto the Living Room 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-play dept.
cylonlover writes "At CES in January, Microsoft Research teased its IllumiRoom concept, which involves projecting an image around a TV screen to enhance video games with additional visuals. Unfortunately, the company didn't offer much info beyond a short video that briefly showed it in action. But the team behind the project recently showed up at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris with some more in-depth details about how IllumiRoom will not only expand the game screen, but completely alter the appearance of your living room."
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IllumiRoom To Take Gaming Visuals Outside the Box and Onto the Living Room

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  • No thanks. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865)

    I think I speak for most gaming enthusiasts when I say "focus on hardware that will be more robust for a better part of this next generation and the games that will be on it and skip the gimmicks".

    • You certainly speak for me on this issue.

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      No you don't.
    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      I don't mind folks trying to make a game more immersive, but I think that these guys missed a boat that sailed a good few years back. I think the next major step in immersive gameplay will be a 3D headset coupled with whatever that funny 360 degree slippery treadmill thingy that was on the site a few days ago. That made me a heck of a lot more interested than having a crappy projector sitting in the same area as me.

      • by ikaruga (2725453)
        Too bad the lack of marketing, platform integration, exclusive content (as well as general multi-plat form general content) and perceived "high" price will most likely kill those devices. If they survive they end up being niches even smaller than other computer gaming peripherals like steering wheels or fighting/flying joysticks.
        • by Agent0013 (828350)

          Too bad the lack of marketing, platform integration, exclusive content (as well as general multi-plat form general content) and perceived "high" price will most likely kill those devices. If they survive they end up being niches even smaller than other computer gaming peripherals like steering wheels or fighting/flying joysticks.

          Now this is just silly! If you have not played a racing game with a force feedback steering wheel, then you don't know how much better they make the game. Little fucking joysticks that vibrate don't give you the control that turning a wheel does. When you drive you are constantly making fine tune adjustments to the wheel to keep the car on the exact track you want. And the force feedback for driving is more than just same stupid vibration. It gives you a feel for the traction your wheels have on the road, m

          • by ikaruga (2725453)
            You totally missed my point!
            I'm NOT talking about how all these accessories improve gaming. As a dedicated gamer myself I know first hand how these accessories can improve the experience from both a gameplay and immersion point of view.
            I'm talking about BUSINESS. Steering wheels et al. can be as good as you can imagine, without support, platform integration, marketing, exclusive content etc, all these accessories will be a niche market. Being a good product alone does not guarantee success.
            As quick exam
      • I agree its a few years old. I tried to do this 5 years ago bit got stuck on the rendering a larger view area at lower resolution overlapping but not including the main focal point. I saw in their last demo they used opensource game and must have resolved this issue. but I was trying for a more generic approach and actually thinking only of a desktop view

      • Here's the thing. No one is gonna buy a 360 degree slippery treadmill to play games. Not any time soon anyway. It's just not going to happen. Very few people are even gonna buy 3D headsets, the dork factor is just too high and the inability to play/watch with friends and family without everyone having hardware breaks it even more (and that's coming from someone who is legitimately excited about the technology). Remember, although the average gamer is a 25-35 year old male, there are still a lots and lot

    • I think I speak for most gaming enthusiasts when I say "focus on hardware that will be more robust for a better part of this next generation and the games that will be on it and skip the gimmicks".

      Oh, we assure you that the TPM will be plenty robust, we've been working extra hard on that part!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      nope, I don't think you speak for the majority at all. gimmicks like kinnect, move, wiimote etc I can definitely live without, but something that significantly enhances gaming atmosphere and visuals is something that would definitely be a step forward.
    • Re:No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bloodhawk (813939) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:32PM (#43617195)
      not so sure you do speak for most. certainly not me. I like the idea of enhancing gaming visuals beyond the borders of the television, not everyone cup of tea I am sure, but I think it is actually a rather appealing advancement. I agree skip the gimmicks but I don't think better visuals is a gimmick.
    • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pla (258480) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:16AM (#43617369) Journal
      I think I speak for most gaming enthusiasts when I say "focus on hardware that will be more robust for a better part of this next generation and the games that will be on it and skip the gimmicks".

      No. Just... No. That demo absolutely rocked, and I would buy that in a frickin' heartbeat if it actually works as shown there.

      And I say that as someone who already uses a projector as my "TV" screen - But while it works well for field of vision, it fails in that you can either sit close and have low resolution at the center of your vision, or further away and you effectively get a similar angular size as a TV up close except you don't need to sit on top of the screen. Something that combines both - A bright, high-res macular view, combined with an immersive peripheral field? Awesome. Simple awesome.

      Hate all you want, but as a long-time Nintendo fan, that would count as my first XBox.
    • Gotta tell you man, I'm not light about my gaming, I play all genres, during many hours. That's pratically all I do in my free time. I'm the ~1000 hours clocked into the Monster Hunter franchise, ~400 hours into the X universe, ~250 hours into the borderlands franchise kind of gamer and I really don't get all the bro's resistance to these gimmics, they aways look so awesome to me.
      I'm also very carefull and wait to see if anyone will make good use of them but this one in particular seems to have much more
    • As a gaming enthusiast, I have to say that I've been looking into building my own system that's simpler than this and more similar to what Phillips did with their Ambilight [wikipedia.org] system, since there are a few open-source methods for doing so that have already been developed, but I'd love it if something even more advanced, such as this MS system, were available. My only issue is that all of the current ways of doing it (at least as far as I know) require that the signal originate from a PC that outputs separate v

  • by huckamania (533052) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:48PM (#43616983) Journal

    Really? Because this is from MS this is uncool?

    This, plus kinnect, could be the interface of the future. Install it on the ceiling and you could project a video or keyboard on any flat surface. Never have to look for a remote again. Need a calculator, a recipe, a note pad, facebook, etc?

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      I am going to be interested in what Kinect 2, 3,4.... have to offer. The current Kinect is pretty cool, but it is cool in the way the Vic20 or C64 were cool. It is awesome for those that are into that specific tech, and you can see the future written on the wall for that type of device, but it is still a gimmick for the masses.

      If future versions scale in usability the way that personal computers have, I could see a Kinect style device in most rooms of the house connecting features that we haven't even
    • Really? Because this is from MS this is uncool?

      This, plus kinnect, could be the interface of the future. Install it on the ceiling and you could project a video or keyboard on any flat surface. Never have to look for a remote again. Need a calculator, a recipe, a note pad, facebook, etc?

      It looks promising for enhancing the immersion value of relatively small screens; but as an interface it would have to be taken in very small doses. Anyone remember those so damn sci-fi you think that the future just travelled back in time and punched you in the face [thinkgeek.com] laser projection keyboards? They suck. Horribly. The ghastliest laptop you've ever had to touch would feel like a Model M, even after spilling something sticky on it, compared to one of those.

      For a few big buttons that you only need occasionall

      • I never used one of those, but I can imagine that hammering your fingers at typing speed onto a hard surface would be quite painfull after a few minutes. (you can't touch type on touch screens, so you're not getting your fingers on full speed there)

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:32PM (#43617193)
    This is Microsoft research. They do come up with cool things, the cool things just never make it to market. And needless to say, Microsoft developing the product for their own platform will result in a middling device.

    Cool? Definitely. Improve the gaming experience? More than likely. Reality? Not even remotely close.
  • by fikx (704101) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:58PM (#43617313) Journal
    I would think this would be nice for the office or desktop: your open docs and apps can be spread over the desktop, keep whatever you are updating or need high resolution for on the monitor. When you don't need the high res view anymore, drag the window onto the desktop and move something else form the desktop to the monitor.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      All you need for that is a regular projector. Illumiroom goes beyond just being a projector, it actually maps out your room in three dimensions and then either projects colors on to objects in the room to set a mood or can correctly perspective map one large viewport.
  • by black3d (1648913) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:52AM (#43617487)
    ... and take my money!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since I'm not a gamer, I can't speak for it's desirability in gaming. But I think I can see a niche use for something like this when I notice the "ripple your room" effect mentioned in the slideshow. I like a lot of bass heavy music (yes my neighbour hates me, thanks for asking), I think it'd be cool to have the room appear to quiver in a subtle way in time with the kick drums or long bass guitar solos. For that matter; think of the iconic water ripple scene in Jurassic park. Imagine your room rippling when

    • by lxs (131946) on Friday May 03, 2013 @04:33AM (#43618143)

      think it'd be cool to have the room appear to quiver in a subtle way in time with the kick drums or long bass guitar solos.

      That technology has been around for ages. It's called magic mushrooms.

    • While this version isn't subtle enough, I could imagine a better version of this projector replacing all lighting if technology advances in the right way. Pseudo-holographic lighting. Subtly change the "flavour" of the room, give the best lighting for specific objects without affecting the rest of the room, and without having something as obvious as spot-lights/highlights/downlights. Or dramatically change the apparent wall and furniture patterns/textures.

      [TFA showed hints with the projection-lighting on th

  • So, when I first saw newsflashes about this at some places, I just couldn't see the novelty in it (since it's not some actual device that you can buy, but basically a research proof-of-concept of a classical projector-camera pairing with depth and surface estimation based on projected patterns). Then, after talking to some people outside the related field, it turned out a lot of people don't know much about projecting to non-homogeneous and/or non-flat surfaces. For such people, Googling for video mapping s
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does ANYONE sit 15 feet away from the TV when playing games or working on a computer? This would be awesome if I didn't have to sit so far from the screen that I need binoculars to make out the HUD.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Playing games? Yes. Have the Wii and media center computer both connected to a TV about 15 feet from the couch. But I don't play FPS games.

  • Nice to see Microsoft is using open source games to show the capabilities of their system. It's a bit disappointing to see that they misspelled SuperTuxCart (sic) in the YouTube video.

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

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