The Xbox 720 could play host to Microsoft IllumiRoom technology, aiming to enhance the gaming experience and enabled new levels of gaming immersion.
IllumiRoom would combine a Kinect or highly-rumoured Kinect 2 sensor with a projector situated in front of the TV, extending the boundaries of the on-screen image beyond the confines of the TV.
“Our vision for a fully developed IllumiRoom system includes an ultra-wide field of view device sitting on the user’s coffee table, projecting over a large area surrounding the television,” Microsoft Research explains in a CHI 2013 document.
Originally briefly showcased at CES 2013 in January, Microsoft IllumiRoom is said to “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences,” according to Microsoft.
The technology is being targeted at Microsoft’s next-generation console, which currently has many names including the Xbox Infinity, Xbox 720 and Xbox Durango. If used with the console, IllumiRoom can aid the gaming experience.
With an FPS for example, IllumiRoom can have the shotgun shells falling away beyond the TV screen confinements or give light markers detailing where friendlies are located. The video actually shows footage of how IllumiRoom could work with Borderlands 2 and Portal.
“The device would be connected wirelessly to a next generation gaming console as a secondary display. The ultra-wide field of view could be obtained with an ultra-short throw projector, or by coupling a standard projector with a spherical/parabolic mirror. The room geometry could be acquired with a depth sensor or a structured light scan.”
There are several levels as to what the IllumiRoom technology can do. Game effects like falling snow or explosions can be projected in the gaming room, illusions can distort the furniture surrounding the TV but at its more immersive, IllumiRoom can project entire levels into the room extending the gamer’s field of vision and making objects fall out of the screen and fall onto the floor.
Entirely self-calibrating and theoretically working in any room containing the next-generation Xbox, Microsoft realises that, like with Kinect, there may be issues with the technology.
“While there are many unanswered questions regarding peripheral projected illusions, we hope we have demonstrated that they are worth answering.”