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Microsoft’s RoomAlive is the evolution of last year’s Illumiroom concept

Jareth Anstey

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Last year we saw the exciting reveal of ‘Illumiroom’ an experimental Kinect based project Microsoft were researching. The concept was based on various self-calibrating projectors that, when combined with kinect, would “blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds” The video released showed some very interesting concepts, such as effects around the room causing visual distortions when a gun was fired and expanding the game screen outside of the TV.

IllumiRoom1

Although this wasn’t released with the Xbox One as Microsoft claimed it would have been too expensive for the average consumer there has been some progress in its development. Now re-named ‘RoomAlive’ and still very much in an experimental stage they have dropped the need for a TV and instead seem to be focusing on mapping entire rooms to create “an immersive, augmented entertainment experience”. In the video they have released you can see people in a typical living room playing a whack-a-mole style game shooting pop-up characters with a light-gun, another projection maps the entire room and shows water running down the walls, off the furniture and onto the floor.

Nintendo changed the gaming industry with the release of the Wii, bringing motion controls to the mainstream. Now Sony have got on board with virtual reality rivalling the Oculus rift with Project Morpheus, RoomAlive seems to be Microsoft’s contribution to the evolution of gaming. With all this innovation happening right now it’s definitely an exciting time to be a gamer.

Obsessed with gaming since beating Green Hill Zone at age two, and a collector of all things Zelda. Lives in a tiny Village in North Yorkshire with his Missus and two cats, Knuckles and Snape.

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