IllumiRoom – Microsoft’s big comeback?

A lot of ink has been spilled in the press on Microsoft’s lost decade (and also on its unpopular leader’s antics). Nowadays, the once game changer is mainly known for loosing the race against innovation with its underwhelming product launches and poor attempts at copying others with inferior products. And so with this in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to read about the latest proof of concept from its research team: IllumiRoom – a technology that “augments the area surrounding the television screen with projected visualizations”. The pilot premiered at the CES last month and if it ever goes to market, it may well redefine not just the gaming experience but also home entertainment as a whole – I am no gamer but I could see myself watching Avatar in 3D IllumiRoom-style and loving it!

How successful the technology will be largely depends on which commercial uses Microsoft intend to make of it, its mass appeal and adoption potential by content creators amongst other hurdles. For now however, it is said to be the most advanced and user-friendly use of immersive imaging compared to earlier efforts reliant on similar techniques (e.g. see the over-the-top Peugeot Emotion & Motion show, or check out Sony’s DIY AR-room projection videos here).

Here is to hoping that something good comes out of Microsoft’s latest effort, that its concept sees the light of the day and gives the giant some of its past glory back…

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  1. Seems like a really cool idea, but it sort of seems like a projector working in conjunction with a television set, but a definite plus for immersion. If Microsoft uses this correctly, and it’s combined with an excellent sound-system, I could see them bringing a modern renaissance to the survival horror genre.

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