Microsoft releases five-minute IllumiRoom demonstration video

By on April 29, 2013, 1:30 PM

Microsoft unveiled their IllumiRoom technology at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show as a proof of concept. The demo was one of the most impressive showcases during the show but Microsoft has since been mum on the subject – until now. Ahead of this week’s CHI 2013 conference, Microsoft has released a new 30-second preview as well as a five minute demonstration video that outlines some of IllumiRoom’s features.

If you aren’t familiar, IllumiRoom uses a projector and a Kinect sensor to augment a television screen with peripheral projected illusions – in other words, it extends the range of a game outside the confines of your TV to help immerse you in the action. The product is self-calibrating and designed to work in any living room, Microsoft said.

During a chat with Microsoft’s Eric Rudder at TechForum last month, The Verge learned a bit more about how the system works. As Rudder explained, the LEDs in the projector beam out an overlay for one frame then turn off to allow the Kinect IR to read the overlays. The two systems alternate this behavior frame-by-frame over and over again.

The Kinect is also able to capture the geometry and color scheme of a room – info that is fed to the projector so it knows how to correctly draw the overlay with the right colors and shapes. The technology is described as incredibly sophisticated although the end result just appears as if your television got bigger.

It’s likely that we will learn more about IllumiRoom on May 21 – the same day that Microsoft will unveil the next generation Xbox.




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

This seems pretty cool but kind of useless. It probably makes you sick.

TheBigFatClown said:

Windows 8 is useless also to anyone other than "tweens" who use it to update their Facebook status and watch YouTube videos. So it wouldn't surprise me if this were useless technology from Microsoft also. It seems the experimental recipes coming from Microsoft lately are just cook up any old crap as long as it's outside the normal, throw up against the wall, and... like checking to see if spaghetti is done, see if it sticks.

"But..but...but I use my Windows 8 for everything...and...and its SO much faster than Windows 7 since they removed that silly Aero interface and replaced it with the purple blocks. Now it just flies."

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

And I remember my dad buying our first black & white TV set just to watch Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon back in July of '69. It was winter here, cold & we were in front of the fire place. We didn't have all that much but we were happy. This new thing of Microsoft leaves me unmoved. I've got better things to waste my money on.

Rasta211 said:

I think this is great! Horror movies/games are going to be intense!

IAMTHESTIG said:

It is very creative and interesting... but I don't see this as being all that desirable or useful. At least Apple nails one of those every time, Microsoft didn't get either on this one.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Interesting proof of concept, still think you'd be better of using the projector with a larger screen. Love the ikea furnature too.

kuroiei kuroiei said:

Whoa, I imagined this thing in my room. It better perform well cause it's so cluttered that distorting the overlay image will be a real feat! Also, do I need to re-calibrate this every time I move my coffee table an inch?

Guest said:

Hmmm...

I think there's a better technology - it's called PROJECTOR.

And for immersion there's another called VIRTUAL REALITY.

The project itself is cool, not enough to make a big innovation.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

It creates quite a distraction from what's on TV. I think that big 4K panels will make up for the surrounding effect better, once they become affordable.

Plus, this concept isn't compatible with 3D TV.

1 person liked this | Chazz said:

Windows 8 is useless also to anyone other than "tweens" who use it to update their Facebook status and watch YouTube videos. So it wouldn't surprise me if this were useless technology from Microsoft also. It seems the experimental recipes coming from Microsoft lately are just cook up any old crap as long as it's outside the normal, throw up against the wall, and... like checking to see if spaghetti is done, see if it sticks.

"But..but...but I use my Windows 8 for everything...and...and its SO much faster than Windows 7 since they removed that silly Aero interface and replaced it with the purple blocks. Now it just flies."

What the living **** does this have to do with windows 8. There are so many other threads to ***** about it on here.

Puiu Puiu said:

It's pretty much an expensive peripheral that only teens find it "cool"

spectrenad said:

Windows 8 is useless also to anyone other than "tweens" who use it to update their Facebook status and watch YouTube videos. So it wouldn't surprise me if this were useless technology from Microsoft also. It seems the experimental recipes coming from Microsoft lately are just cook up any old crap as long as it's outside the normal, throw up against the wall, and... like checking to see if spaghetti is done, see if it sticks.

"But..but...but I use my Windows 8 for everything...and...and its SO much faster than Windows 7 since they removed that silly Aero interface and replaced it with the purple blocks. Now it just flies."

What the living **** does this have to do with windows 8. There are so many other threads to ***** about it on here.

People like to bash Win8 at every occasion, even when the article isn't related to the OS...

spectrenad said:

It's pretty much an expensive peripheral that only teens find it "cool"

Expensive? Well, you just need a projector, if you have one laying around. Or a cheap one will do the trick.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

It sounds like not any projector will do as it has to be able to interact very closely with the kinect.

I do think its pretty "cool" and no I'm not a teen. It adds some interesting atmospheric effects to games that a traditional tv couldn't do. The bits showing how it could be used I watch movies looked ridiculous. However, once again simply using it or atmospheric effects during a movie could be interesting.

I imagine it will be quite expensive but idk.

ps. The amount of Microsoft bashing in this thread is borderline embarrassing. Critiquing is one thing and generally makes you sound like you know what you're talking about. Bashing is another and tells everybody upfront you're dumb as a bag o' rocks and you'd rather not do anything about it.

MilwaukeeMike said:

It's pretty much an expensive peripheral that only teens find it "cool"

Well I'm guilty of thinking it's cool and I haven't been a teen in long enough that I can't easily do the math in my head. I think it's a cool way to improve your home entertainment system gaming or not. I've always been annoyed in first person shooters at the lack of peripheral vision.

I wonder how the response would have been if this were an Apple product.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I didn't watch the whole thing, but did they include hit markers for FPS games? As in, the little red icon that comes up on your screen showing you which direction you got hit from - this could now be shown off the tv for a nice effect. The other blurry stuff would just give people nausea.

Guest said:

This is cool, I like the concept. But I'm curious about the gaming experiences, I might worry dizziness. :)

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

This tech with a horror video game. The possibilities.

Guest said:

It's kind of a good idea, but also not. And how expensive would this be? A LED projector, which is what this would HAVE to be, is not cheap, unless you buy a junky one (like I did! lol). On top of that, they would be fools to use DLP, as it's a nice tech but causes headaches in lots of people (me included, which is why I don't use LED pj anymore) so it would have to be LCoS. I would guess this pj addon would run at least $399 on top of the price of the console.

Microsoft is making some big mistakes with gaming right now. They got lucky with the stupid Kinect simply because so many people are obsessed with dancing shows and dancing in front of their tv's. It's a terrible device for games which has been proven by the endless stream of horrible games for the thing, and this projector addon is even worse.

Let people buy regular displays and stop focusing on peripherals Microsoft. Maybe they should focus on the games?

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I like it!

Guest said:

Combine this with horror games.. total thrill when gaming!!

TheDreams TheDreams said:

Do you think that let's say your playing call of duty or any other shooter game, will you be able to see enemies on your wall or does it just show the landscape from the disk?

Guest said:

Seems like a giant waste of time, I don't want illusions I want V/R done right, this is absolutely not V/R done right. At least Sony/Dice is playing with ACTUAL Virtual Reality tools that immerse you into the game through the characters eyes. I'd rather buy a projector without shit tons of illusions.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

What they need to do is turn the room into 360 degree hallow-graphic animated image and hide the HDTV. We're still not there yet. This concept just a projector and with tricks added in. I wouldn't spend money on this idea shown in this video. I'll wait until tech is ready to be installed in a room in the house.

hugotheholder hugotheholder said:

Windows 8 is useless also to anyone other than "tweens" who use it to update their Facebook status and watch YouTube videos. So it wouldn't surprise me if this were useless technology from Microsoft also. It seems the experimental recipes coming from Microsoft lately are just cook up any old crap as long as it's outside the normal, throw up against the wall, and... like checking to see if spaghetti is done, see if it sticks.

"But..but...but I use my Windows 8 for everything...and...and its SO much faster than Windows 7 since they removed that silly Aero interface and replaced it with the purple blocks. Now it just flies."

Hey, windows 8 isnt just for tweens and people updating there facebook pages. although it is faster (laptop boots in 7 seconds without SSD). I actually happen to like windows 8 for its fluidness, and great multitasking (and yes I am tech savvy. ive used linux, ubuntu, win7, win8, winVista, WinXP, Win95, mac osx, and windows 3.0). I do not agree with them taking the aero interface out, but it was for the best (since it is a tablet GUI). but truly, windows 8 isnt a bad OS, ive been using it for a few months, and I actually like it (I game, browse the web, and mess around/hack my own computer to see what it can do). so please dont insult Microsoft's products until they have completely failed (such as vista)

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.