“Peripheral Projected Illusions” is the term Microsoft are using to describe their latest innovation and proof of concept with an almost reveres augmented reality.
Traditionally, augmented reality take your surroundings and puts them into a video game. This time round, Microsoft are putting the game in your environment, expanding what you see on the screen to a much wider field of view into your gaming space around the TV.
The initial proof of concept utilises a Kinect camera and projector, mounted in a way that the two systems work harmoniously analysing the environment and then projecting various elements of the game world into your gaming space, outside the confines of your TV. You might remember when Philips developed their ‘Ambilight’ TV’s which would bathe the back of your TV with splashes of colour based on the colours in the onscreen image. This is a much more immersive concept…akin to moving from stereo sound to full theatre multichannel DTS surround.
The ‘illusion’ is created via intelligent use of capture technology and optical-flow which generates its own pseudo representation of the game world projected around your TV. The Kinect sensor detects the environment which then calibrates the image projection, making full use of objects and furniture around your TV, thus not restricting the system to relying on a blank canvas behind your screen. There are some very nifty tricks that you can see in the demo reel which can even create the illusion of your room ‘warping’ depending on the games interactions and content.
The project currently has experimented with eleven illusions that can expand the gamers field of view, which can go from full content projections to more subtle effects like falling snow in your room. The system not only measures the physical geometry of your room, but is also capable of measuring colour and even shadows. The system can then project adjustments to these colours creating the illusion of your living space turning black & white and even projecting false shadows, adding to the immersion.
What do you think? Imagine the next iteration of Gears of War leaves your room looking like a demented butchers back room, or Forza smears your carpet with skid marks…Microsoft are showing off some interesting facets of the tech. But can Microsoft get us to part with our cash again as we did with Kinect, or have we already had our fingers burnt? Maybe we’ll find out more on May 21st ?
To find out more, click here: Microsoft IllumiRoom Research