Xbox IllumiRoom "just research" right now

Microsoft Research's proof-of-concept inches toward an actual product

At CES 2013 in January, Microsoft Research showed off its IllumiRoom concept: an extension of the Xbox 360 and Kinect combination that allow visuals to be projected beyond the television. The demonstration was said to only be a proof-of-concept, a statement backed up today by Microsoft Research's Hrvoje Benko.

"At this point it's purely a research project," Benko told The Verge. He acknowledged that the team was working closely with the Xbox and Kinect product teams, noting that, "there's a dialogue going on continuously there."

"Ultimately, it's the content which makes the experience shine," Benko said in a post on the Microsoft Research site. "We spent a lot of effort designing different ways to use content from games or movies specifically for this setup. We tried different approaches, from intercepting controller commands and using computer-vision techniques to recording new custom content. They were all challenging, and some worked better than others. Those were the lessons we needed to learn."

Benko and researcher Brett Jones showed off IllumiRoom at Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in Paris today. In addition, Microsoft Research released a new video (shown above) and research paper further detailing the concept and possible uses for the technology in the future. The research paper makes several mentions of a "next generation console," but no direct mention of the next Xbox is made.

"Ideally, IllumiRoom would be directly integrated into a next generation console and new games would be designed for IllumiRoom from the ground up," reads the paper. "The device would be connected wirelessly to a next generation gaming console as a secondary display."

Benko and Jones told Engadget that a public demo of the system isn't likely until July's SIGGRAPH conference.

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Latest comments (5)

Tim Ogul Illustrator 4 years ago
I hate the idea of this thing. My TV is in a corner, under a window, next to a fireplace and an open door, even at night this would be super pointless, curing the daytime it wouldn't even be that functional. They should just spend time making sure that the new Xbox works with the Rift.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
Definitely looks interesting but it's not neccessarily something I would need. I can only imagine the cost of that thing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 1st May 2013 1:54am

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Hmmm... yet ANOTHER idea that only works best under ideal circumstances as in you live in that PERFECT home with your entertainment center in the middle of an area that's larger than most studio apartments, dorm room, small bedroom, basement or other location a lot of consoles are used in. Well, it'll sell to those who can afford the experience and have the room, I suppose...
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Show all comments (5)
Tim Ogul Illustrator 4 years ago
Yeah, and my couch is also about 0.9 "absolute minimum distances" from the TV as far as Kinect is concerned, and there's a wall behind that. They just can't stand entertainment set-ups that aren't constructed on a sound stage. I had to put corrective lenses on my Kinect just to make it jittery and barely functional, rather than completely "I don't know what the #### I'm looking at here."

Really, that's one thing that could really impress me in the XBox: The Next Generation presentation, if they show a gaming demo trailer, with a sworn "no shenanigans" statement, showing people using a vanilla Kinect 2.0 unit to play games in all sorts of environments, from stage-lit wide open rooms like we know they love, to sun-lit cramped rooms, just dozens of different potential and realistic looking living environments. If they can convince me that they Kinect 2.0 won't confuse my dog passing by for my having turned into a centaur all of a sudden, then I might buy one just out of respect.

Honestly, one element that IllumiRoom could actually be genuinely useful for (but requiring considerably less functionality than they've implied it would have), would just be to paint boxes on the floor that represent the absolute detection box of the Kinect camera. Step outside the box, and you can't be seen, stay within the box, and you will be registered, no more guessing.
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Lets hope the XBox720 launch is not full of things that will later be called "purely a research project"!

We all worry way to much that we will end up with more Milo moments from MS - the company has better shape up with actuality, rather than hyperbilly.
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