Microsoft IllumiRoom – Blurring the Lines of Reality

Have you ever been totally immersed in a game, so much so that you actually felt like you were actually part of the pixels? Many of us know the sensation when you’re sitting on the train with your head buried in your brand new smartphone, whilst playing a free and addictive mobile game that many sites like Browsergamez are offering in today’s current technological age. Yet we all come back to reality eventually when the game is over and you realize that your station came and went a long ago. Perhaps this is what happened to the researchers at Microsoft, who felt that games should literally come out of the screen and make this experience a technical reality.

Bringing your living room to life

Microsoft IllumiRoom is essentially a projection system which aims to create an immersive gaming experience, by using a peripheral projected illusion system in order to enhance the traditional gaming experience. The idea is simple, however the technology is anything but. The concept is that the environment around your television will be brought to life by projecting a range of graphics onto the room’s surrounding objects, floor and ceiling, so that when you’re playing a racing game for example, you can really feel like you have tarmac whooshing under your feet.

Microsoft IllumiRoom

The device is self-collaborating and Microsoft say it will work in almost any room. The speed of technological advancement has been accelerating for quite some time now, with much of the focus in gaming technological advancement weighing heavily on creating a more rounded immersive experience, we can expect to see more of this kind of thing. The IllumiRoom has the ability to distort a player’s immediate environment, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy…quite literally. The IllumiRoom has the ability to project thick, cartoon like lines on the objects surrounding your television, creating a surreal parody-like caricature of your living room while you play.

When can I get one?

Before you get too excited, Microsoft have one major obstacle to overcome before the IllumiRoom finds its way onto the market – how they can make money from it. The head of Xbox One product planning team Albert Penello said in an interview with Microsoft News, “I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that soon – It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but… we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars”. So it appears gamers will have to wait a little while longer while before Microsoft figure out how to make the IllumiRoom more cost-effective for the average gamer. They are labelling the project as “research” for the time being, with the view of marketing it as soon as they can. Microsoft also admit that despite the idea being branded with an accompanying promo video, it’s purely a research endeavor which they hope to incorporate into future products.

With the future of gaming determined to continue to dismantle gamer’s reality and immerse the player in a virtual world, we can expect to see more technologies such as the IllumiRoom making its way into the market and into our living rooms, giving gamers the opportunity to loose themselves in an animated virtual gamers paradise.

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