Microsoft's IllumiRoom is 'a coffee table projector for next-gen consoles'

That's according to new details which have arrived ahead of this week's CHI 2013 conference in Paris.
According to Microsoft, IllumiRoom can "change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences."

Combining a projector with Kinect, game effects such as falling snow and explosions can be projected into the living room, while illusions can appear to distort furniture around the television.

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kassler1934d ago

Consoles? So this isn't exclusive to Xbox? Wonder what price it'll come with.

Andronix1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

Not essential but I'd love to try it.

Septic1933d ago

Yeah I watched Ironman 3 on the weekend and he brings out a digital map that covers the room (as always) and I thought of Illumiroom. Could be pretty cool but yeah, doubt it will be essential for gaming.

MurDocINC1933d ago

Only see this working with a clean white room.

kneon1933d ago


I don't know why you got disagrees, it's going to look like crap unless you have a sparsely furnished, light colored room.

Microsoft hasn't found a way to overcome the laws of physics so projecting images on to dark colored objects just isn't going to work well.

thechosenone1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

Looks too gimmicky for me, but you guys enjoy if that's your thing.

Gamer Muzz1933d ago

Why would it only work with a clean white room? I thought one of it's cooler features was it's ability to change the appearance of the objects around the T.V. and even distort them.
With nothing in the room, that wouldn't really do anything.
Remember, it's not supposed to make a movie screen out of your wall, it's just supposed to augment reality and add more of the games features/view to the room around you.
personally, I think it's a pretty innovative idea and great way to make games just a little more immersive.

thechosenone1933d ago

the projector they're using costs $800? Yikes.

Sony's version of this immersive tech

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

WrAiTh Sp3cTr31933d ago

@Murdocinc and kneon, the video as its shown is relatively the opposite of what you're concerned with, lol.

SilentNegotiator1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

@WrAiTh Sp3cTr3

Not really. The room they showed it in was a big white wall, a flat shelf with a bunch of picture frames at 85 degree angles that covered 95% of the holes in the flat shelves that they were in, two tiny plants with massive, broad leaves, and the absolute worst...tiny empty vases.

The room might not be empty, but they chose the most inconceivably flat conditions to show it in.

@Gamer Muzz
"Remember, it's not supposed to make a movie screen out of your wall"

Then why is 80% of the footage of it extending the screen? Don't pretend like the main attraction was the pulsing shelf bit.

TechnicianTed1933d ago


Yeah, Spandex People Technology™ is the future, clearly.

thechosenone1933d ago


so the men in tight spandex is what caught your attention first? there's more going on there if you'd just look around. xD

kneon1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

$WrAiTh Sp3cTr3

Actually the video illustrates my point prefectly. They have used a light colored wood and have plenty of blank wall above the tv. Take a look at the black xBox, it's essentially a black hole in the image since it's reflectivity is near 0. Likewise the two dark color squares to the left show little detail.

My Main TV is in a 10 foot wide entertainment unit made of medium brown wood. The top of the unit above the TV has my subwoofer, AV receiver and left/right speakers which are all black. On the right and left are open doorways. There are almost no surfaces that would reflect light well enough to see a decent image.

This technology is fine to add some special effects but that's about it. Because there is no guarantee that the player can see any particular part of the off screen image the games can't put anything important off the screen.

Below would be your worst case scenario


This large black entertainment unit would reflect almost nothing.

B-radical1933d ago

Id prefer it to kinnect

malokevi1933d ago

I dont understand how any gamer could complain about that video.

Seriously cool stuff. Not sure about cost, but Xbox + Kinect2 + Illumiroom... sounds about as close to full immersion as I've ever seen. (besides that crazy machine on Mythbusters)

This is the kind of stuff I've been dreaming about for the better portion of my life. I think its gonna b a TRIP.

FriedGoat1933d ago

For someone like me who has a projector and screen that covers the whole wall, what exactly is the point of this?

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 1933d ago
Gamer-401933d ago

"Microsoft's IllumiRoom"


greenpowerz1933d ago

Yeah MSFT is going to make products for the competition in the gaming industry :p

MrDead1933d ago


It makes you wonder and it is posted in the PS4 section.

1933d ago
AngelicIceDiamond1933d ago

It looks and sounds cool, but I have see more on this sorta thing. I'm not quite sold yet.

Retroman1933d ago

This is nothing more than a projected hologram
ENTERPRISE we found your holo-deck.

rather have yu-gi-oh holo duel disc.

Gamer19821933d ago

IKt wont be exclusive as it will be a camera that outputs an image just like anything else so unless it uses a special adapter that stops it being compatible with ps4 etc.. It will work with it and probably ps3/360/wiiu also. This is a good move by MS as it maximizes sales. They couldnt do it as an xbox product as people would maybe put it down as an overpriced accessory. Especially as this will no doubt come out at well over $100.

BitbyDeath1933d ago

@kassler, further in the article it states it requires Kinect.

"Currently Microsoft's prototype utilises a wide field of view projector (InFocus IN126ST) and a Kinect for Windows sensor."

fr0sty1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

I do video projection mapping for a living, so I know exactly what kinds of hurdles this device is facing when used in the real world. I actually wrote an article about this tech when it was first announced detailing the pros and cons of using this tech for video games (search under my username for submitted articles, I'm sure it's in there somewhere). It has a lot of issues to overcome before it'll be anything more than an expensive gimmick. One that requires another expensive gimmick (Kinect) to even work.

nirwanda1933d ago

I have an older infocus dlp projector, I don't use it much because you really need a dark room to get good contrast and images, I would liketo try this but I'd be worried about reflections on my tv screen.

nirwanda1932d ago

Do you think a DLP projector will block out enough light to stop lots of light reflection on my LCD.

fr0sty1932d ago

You would get no reflection at all. Part of what video mapping does is masks out certain areas of the projector's image so that it only projects where you want it to. There would be a big black rectangle shaped hole in the projector's video image where your TV is supposed to go, so there would be no light to reflect.

However, you are right about needing a dark room (with light colored walls) in order to get a good image. This is why, in many cases, you see them using black and white outlines on the parts of the image that is not on screen. Black and white are high contrast when put against each other, so it stands out a lot more than a full color image would. I would imaging this would end up being the default setting for most living room environments, as you aren't going to get a projector for under $500 that is worth a crap, especially not one that has a super short throw lens on it like the one in this video concept does. Those lenses aren't cheap.

The projectors we use to do most of our video mapping are 5000 lumens (unless we rent more powerful ones), and that is on the extremely low end of the brightness scale that is required to properly video map a room. Go price a few 5000 lumen projectors... And you'll see why I say this will either be a very expensive gimmick, or one that does not work very well. The main thing this projector has going for it is the short throw lens, which enables brighter images using dimmer bulbs because the light does not have to cover as much distance (shorter throw from projector to wall). However, if you have dark colored walls, or a dark colored entertainment center that covers most of the wall, you won't get very good results out of this.

FamilyGuy1933d ago

Looks cool enough, I don't agree with needing a light colored room though, have you guys ever had/used a projector? You still see the stuff fine, it's just obscured.

You're not meant to focus on the images on the wall anyway, it's the background giving you more immersion.

It'd be cool if they really do release this thing. Not sure if I'd bother with something like that but I can at least admit it's cool.

popup1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

The tech is great, the immersion would be great and it seems pretty cool having the items seemingly come out of the screen but if you have a projector, why not just display the whole 120" image using only that?

I use a projector for gaming and, other than the 10 minute gimmick of confusing my pals with it in the above setup, why would I want to put a little TV in the middle? I know that the furniture is scanned and included but you need to buy a projector to use it and, if you did, I bet you would rather game using that!

Interesting but odd at the same time to me.

Jaces1933d ago

Looks to distracting for me. I'm only going to be looking at one thing and that's the tv.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 1932d ago
MonkeyNinja1933d ago

Looks pretty cool, but extremely gimmicky. Like something that I'd really enjoy for 5 mins and then get tired of. I'd much rather have something similar to Oculus Rift.

JsonHenry1933d ago

^^ Me too. The Rift just seems more practical for gaming. But then again it takes double the processing power because it has to render the frames twice.

MonkeyNinja1933d ago

True, but if next-gen games are already going to be in 3D, then it could just be used in place of the TV. If the PS4 was already rendering Killzone 4 in 3D, then it might just be a matter of sending the image to the headmount instead of the TV.

Didn't Sony show a headmount similar to Oculus Rift years ago at some convention center? Does anyone remember that? It was right around the time that rumors about PS4 started to surface, back when it was being called Orbis...

nukeitall1933d ago

I don't think the majority of the public will enjoy Oculus Rift with a case of "finding your VR legs" any time soon.

That is nausea after 15-20 mins of use while trying to build up a stamina over time.

I'm very intrigued by VR, but realistically that is a huge barrier to entry.

IllumiRoom though seems pretty awesome. I would get one if there was genuine support for it that hopefully extends beyond games into movies.

1933d ago Replies(1)
OhMyGandhi1933d ago

gimmicky? in what way? While I do enjoy what I've seen and heard about the Oculus Rift, I think this may have it beat because it doesn't require every player to wear a head piece.

nukeitall1933d ago (Edited 1933d ago )

Other than the placing it in the room, I think this is an easy setup.

I hope MS releases this for the next Xbox. I would likely buy it if it was reasonably priced.

Technology like this will really set you apart from the competition, just like Kinect.

MonkeyNinja1933d ago

I see it ads gimmicky because it's generally known that gamers have tunnel vision when playing games, especially fps or action games. It's almost a distraction from the game to see stuff around your TV. Although I do like the snow effects, and maybe some sand effects would be cool in a desert level of a game, but then again, is it worth the price (whatever it will be) just for that?

just_jeff1933d ago

well... from what @fr0sty is saying there are some major hurdles that MS will have to overcome if this is going to work properly in your home. He does projection mapping for a living, at least he says so (no, i'm not doubting @fr0sty claim)

I'm afraid that the tech is not ready, but MS will want to release it asap. Like they did with Kinect. I don't think the original Kinect was ready to be release at that time. It never performed like it was suppose to. It was never very accurate and for the most part frustrating to use. The illumiroom could run into the same type of issues that the original kinect ran into.

_-EDMIX-_1933d ago

This crap looks to "mimic VR" Oculus Rift IS VR! I'm looking more forward to MS whole smart glasses thing then this crap. It looks more like some Kinect crap then anything I would ever use. That doesn't look immerse....that actually looks just the opposite and annoying.

Oculus Rift is a day 1 for me and its looks to be the future of PC gaming and gaming in general.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1933d ago
Root1933d ago

I know what I'm getting.....a new coffee table :)

JsonHenry1933d ago

I will mount mine from the ceiling.

konnerbllb1933d ago

Coffee table efficiency doubles when mounted to a ceiling.

Chitown712911933d ago

konnerbllb's logic is flawless. I love it.

Fishy Fingers1933d ago

Rather put the money towards a bigger TV but its an interesting concept.

1933d ago
StrongMan1933d ago

How much will this thing cost?

Godmars2901933d ago

Same as a projection TV since that's what it is?

Also have to figure that light will effect it. The room will have to be dark.