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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."

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

Reviews Editor, USgamer

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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