IllumiRoom Turns the Whole Living Room Into an Immersive Screen

Televisions have gotten much flatter and equally larger since abandoning cathode ray tubes for LCD and plasma technologies, yet the content is still trapped within the boundaries of a rectilinear frame.  Microsoft Research envisions a future where the Xbox Kinect partnered with a projection system could augment broadcast and gaming content to bring projected elements out onto a room's walls and floors for full immersion...

Microsoft Research's IllumiRoom extends visual video elements such as explosions, lighting effects, and moving elements far beyond the limits of a television screen and onto the walls and floors of any room, even capable of changing the color/look of physical objects inhabiting the space (e.g. converting a room to black & white or cartoon style). Think of the effect as 2.5D, with depth perception augmented via projection.

The IllumiRoom, a proof-of-concept system that augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualizations to enhance traditional viewing experiences. IllumiRoom can directly extend the viewing experience, turning a 40 inch television into a 15 foot television. IllumiRoom can enable augmented reality experiences where virtual objects interact with the physical environment (e.g. furniture). Finally, IllumiRoom can augment and distort the physical environment (e.g making a living room look like a cartoon).

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IllumiRoom uses a projector and a Kinect depth sensor to blur the lines between on-screen content and the surrounding physical environment. It is entirely self-calibrating and is designed to work in almost any room. IllumiRoom can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new gaming experiences.

(Images/video: Microsoft Research)