Are full living-room 3D environments Microsoft's next-gen aspiration?

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Bear in mind that many people are still unable to play Kinect because their living room is too small.

With that thought nestled firmly in your consciousness, take a look at one of Microsoft's more ambitious gaming patents.

Spotted by CVG, it's called the Environmental Display and uses advanced projection technology to project a full 3D environment across all four walls of an owner's living room or bedroom.

A 3D depth camera similar to Kinect is used to monitor a player's position within the area. However, this experience is amplified by the use of special 3D glasses that register the direction in which players are looking.

This information combined allows them to create additional 3D imagery inserted into the play area – augmented reality, in other words.

The patent describes it as "an immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user – the peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display”.

A lofty goal, you'll surely agree. Undoubtedly the tech exists to make it all possible, but the struggle it will face will be an obvious one – how many potential owners have the requisite space to utilise such tech? And even if you've got the room, have you also got all the flat white walls needed for it to work properly?

The long and short of it is that we'd be happy with just the 3D shark and hover boards out of Back to the Future II.