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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."

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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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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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