VIDEO: Microsoft's IllumiRoom creates next-gen buzz

Ben Parfitt
VIDEO: Microsoft's IllumiRoom creates next-gen buzz

With uncertainty abounding about the viability of the next-gen market, Microsoft has demoed some tech that could create huge excitement for the future of the Xbox brand.

The company took to CES to demo a new technology offer called IllumiRoom – quite possibly related to Microsoft’s Environmental Display patent unearthed in September.

Although it’s still only at the proof of concept stage, the video below demonstrates how the technology offers a significant layer of visual engagement to current TV gaming.

It uses a system that harks back to the old Philips amBX tech, but evolves it far beyond anything seen before. Essentially a projector is used to extend visual cues from the game beyond the edges of the TV display to the walls of the room in which the user is playing.

The video shows both subtle and invasive use of the technology – both of which are hugely impressive.

And there’s also a really cool bit in the beginning where it scans your room like something out of Star Trek. Surely the audio cue of “Xbox, go big” could easily be changed to “Computer, begin program”?

With the next-generation of consoles having to fight harder than ever to win consumers over, innovations like this could be what is needed for them to retain a viable position in the market. Although the prohibitive expense of having to install a projector means IllumiRoom alone isn’t the answer, as cool as it undoubtedly is.

Here’s the footage:

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Tags: Microsoft , kinect , Xbox , ces , IllumiRoom

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