Microsoft Reveal IllumiRoom Concept

Microsoft have revealed a proof-of-concept video for ‘IllumiRoom’, tech that was patented last year.

It uses Kinect and a projector to turn the area around the television in to a larger screen which can “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.”


The demo video which you can see below was captured live and according to Microsoft, does not contain any post production. It is rather impressive, I particularly like the effect at 58 seconds which projects a picture of the wall on to itself and then distorts it.

According to Microsoft “Our system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics.”

However, as impressive as it is, it’s not a patch on what Sony produced over a year ago. Admittedly they used more projectors and the whole experience was scripted but the videos below were created using the PS Eye and Move controllers.

Source: Microsoft.



  1. I got worried at 16 secs that he wasn’t just gaming….

  2. Was that Mario kart he was playing lol

    But no this is really cool, imagine playing dead space & those creatures jump at you

  3. The Microsoft thing I would find very annoying indeed. It needs a bigger TV in my opinion because the rest of the room distracts you from the game I think. The sony one looks impressive, but if its scripted and uses multiple projectors then that will never make it into the home.

    Both seem pretty pointless to me.

  4. For me, this won’t work, for the same reason you wouldn’t use a projector on anything other than a plain white wall or screen… the image is badly distorted over furniture. Besides, when you’re focused on a game, would you really even notice it, other than as a distraction?

    Also, you’re looking at your TV and what’s behind/beside it; Kinect is on/under your TV looking out at the room behind you. It can’t possibly “capture the geometry” of what it can’t see, and what it can see has no bearing on where the system needs to project an image.

    • I’m guessing the Kinect camera would be sitting near the projector to actually scan and capture the wall behind your TV.
      As for the distorted wall, I could imagine this as a pretty cool effect in horror games where the technology immerses you to think that not only the ingame characted is going insane.

      • Is the lead on a Kinect that long? I also don’t see many people bothering to move it back & forth, especially as it doesn’t add anything much to the game.

        Plus you wouldn’t then be able to use the Kinect in the game. Not that that would be any great loss!

      • Nevermind what I said. At 32 seconds you can see the Kinect sitting in front of the monitor. My second guess would be that there is some extra software running on a separate machine (or on a modded 360) that is hooked up between the 360 and the beamer to keep everything in sync. Maybe they are using more than one Kinect.

  5. I really don’t think this is that great.

    If anything, it is really distracting and also is everyone forgetting that MS are great at making concept videos but then when the product comes out it works nowhere near as good.

    Remember this?

    • The FPS footage I found hugely distracting… especially as you moved forward and the textures turned to vector lines on the floor in front of you. I could feel my eyes struggling to not move away from the action. However, very subtle use (like the snow) was lovely.

      • I agree, the explosions and little bits round there edge are great, I really liked that! Subtlety is where this would excel, not full blown projection on your furniture, lets me fair when we play games we’re probably focusing on a few square centimeters of screen, only the poor buggers watching us can enjoy the whole scene.

  6. Think I’d skip buying a projector and just get a bigger TV. Though I did like the snow effect.

  7. Nice concept but if I have the projector I might as well skip the TV entirely.

  8. Looks cool, reminds me of that Philips ambilight or whatever it’s called. And i guess a projector is handier than having chromakeyed people running around the room manipulating assets… although the Move one is more impressive :)

  9. Why do the people in the video cast no shadow if the projector is placed behind them? And surely projecting a second image is going to remove some of the available resources on the XBox or whatever is being used, that otherwise could be used to build the main image displayed on the TV.

    Does look funky though.

  10. I can’t see what they have invented here, where is the “future stuff”?
    They have put a TV in front of the projector screen? Why?
    If I had a projector in my living room I would use that to play games on, not my TV!

Comments are now closed for this post.