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Microsoft digs deeper into AR with RoomAlive

Research unit demonstrates elaborate new augmented reality gameplay concept

Microsoft is working on a new gaming concept called RoomAlive, which transforms any given space into an interactive play area.

RoomAlive is still in the research stage, and it is reminiscent of the IllumiRoom concept that Microsoft showed at CES in 2013. However, where Illumiroom used a television as a focal point, RoomAlive is more complex, using an array of cameras and projectors to create an augmented reality experience.

"Our system enables new interactive projection mapping experiences that dynamically adapts content to any room," a statement released by Microsoft Research said.

"The basic building blocks of RoomAlive are projector-depth camera units, which can be combined through a scalable, distributed framework. The projector-depth camera units are individually auto-calibrating, self-localising, and create a unified model of the room with no user intervention."

Of course, this is exactly the sort of prototype that could never be released to consumers in its current form, but it demonstrates that Microsoft is actively pursuing the sort of immersive gameplay that is also promised by the emergence of VR technology.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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