Microsoft’s IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system that is moving beyond concept and inching closer to actuality. Using an Xbox Kinect and a standard projector, the IllumiRoom throws content from the TV onto the walls and furniture, overlaying its surroundings with the visualizations from the TV. The Kinect captures the appearance and geometry of the room, making the IllumiRoom easily adaptable to any space. It’s not quite virtual reality, rather, this is spatially augmented reality.
While it could be used for simple television watching, Microsoft’s focus is on the way IllumiRoom can create a better gaming experience. The system enhances traditional gameplay by projecting illusions onto the room that further immerse the player into the game’s environment. Extending the content is not the only trick IllumiRoom has up its conceptual sleeve: it can highlight the edges of the game to create a sense of peripheral vision, and also enhance certain game elements, such as gunfire or explosions, so that they are the only things that come out from the screen. Furthermore, the IllumiRoom can alter the appearance of the room itself through a series of projected illusions. One such illusion, called the Radial Wobble sees the living room appear to ripple every time a gunshot is fired. It gives the illusion that a player’s actual environment is affected by in-game action.
Microsoft’s IllumiRoom can easily be adapted to any sector, I hope to adapt this idea into a retail experience. While image projections can be used for more immersive gaming, it can also be utilised within the retail industry, for example high street retailers could have interactive, walk in windows as an alternative to visual product based windows.
Windows, or any spaces for that matter have the possibility to become interactive experiences- the idea of ilumiroom could bring streaming shows through shop windows, or perhaps promotional films which would be interactive.
This technology has already been adopted by Ralph Lauren for their 4d display, as well as H&Ms holographic building displays to celebrate the opening of new stores in Istanbul and Amsterdam but is not used within retail with an interactive aspect for shopping. I hope to bring this technology into retail spaces, by doing this, wider audiences can access newer technology which was previously only used for high fashion advertising and gaming.
- Microsoft Research, 2013, IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences,research.microsoft.com, [internet], available at : http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/illumiroom, last accessed [24th November, 2013].
- Dean Takahashi, (2006), The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft’s Next-generation Video Game Console, Spiderworks Press.
- An Xbox That Bleeds Into Your Walls (buzzfeed.com)
- Future of video games? (foxnews.com)
- Wearable Computing and Augmented Reality (notonlyluck.com)
- Illumiroom (research.microsoft.com)
- Projection prototype breaks content outside the limits of the tv screen (iq.intel.com)