Microsoft applies for 3D projection patent

Kinect-compatible tech would show peripheral environments on players' walls

Microsoft has applied for a patent on technology that aims to redefine immersive gaming. Originally filed in March of 2011 and discovered this week by Patently Apple, the patent for an "Immersive Display Experience" details ways the Xbox maker could project a gaming world beyond big-screen TVs and into players' rooms.

Most treatments of the idea described in the application have the environmental display tech used to supplement a primary image of a game displayed on a user's TV. But with the assistance of a depth camera (such as the Kinect), the game system reads the topography and colors of a room, and then uses an "environmental display output" to project extensions of the game world on the room surrounding the player. The patent describes such a device as a pair of wide-angle RGB projectors with a combined 360-degree field.

The projected images are described as lower resolution in the application, suitable to let players spot movement or hazards in their peripheral vision. Additionally, the filing details a number of ways to get around certain drawbacks to the technology. For example, the system could adjust the image it projects so it looks right to the user even when projected across objects in the room of varying shape and color.

Additionally, the 360-degree display unit could work with the depth camera to avoid shining light in users' eyes or distracting them with moving images projected onto their bodies. Microsoft also specified that its patent would cover the use of the technology with stereoscopic 3D images, whether or not it uses glasses or head-mounted displays.

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Latest comments (6)

Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer 7 years ago
Wow... I'd rather prefer to wear occulus glasses, but the concept is interesting.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert7 years ago
@ Dan: Nice Video.. even if you can see the strings attached to the fruit. The backgrounds are quite nice. If this is the future of gaming and entertainment, Microsoft might have a patent that is apple-style indictable.

All you need is a chandelier packed with beamers, white walls and no furniture (couch and table excluded). Could be a lot of fun for horror movies and games if you immediatly turn around and see what is chasing you. Let's talk about this again in 10 years ;)
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts7 years ago
One word - holodeck.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises7 years ago
This will be awesome if they actually make it. Their Forza racing games had an option to show your left and right sides, but you needed 3 TVs, 3 xbox 360s, and I guess 3 copies of Forza.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert7 years ago
@Craig You're right, and you definetly need the 3 copies of Forza..Considering this already worked with Forza 2 it's quite amazing.
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