Microsoft releases five-minute IllumiRoom demonstration video

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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.

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