Microsoft Unveils New ‘Holodeck’ System
Technology is once again catching up to the future depicted in Star Trek as Microsoft unveiled a patent for its new “holodeck” system that can turn an transform an entire room into part of the gaming experience. The company’s IllumiRoom patent application—filed in early 2011—describes the system as an “immersive display experience,” that will bring console gaming from beyond the confines of a television screen and into the real world.
Although the television will still display the game’s main visuals, a “peripheral image” will display onto all four walls of the room, surrounding the player with the game’s environment using a depth-sensing camera system that tracks the player’s position providing a 3-D gaming experience.
Microsoft has declined to release details on the inner-workings of the system until its official unveiling at a computer graphics conference later this year. It did, however, provide a few details:
“It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience,” the firm revealed in a statement. “IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical.”
The Kinect sensor adjusts the virtual room based on where the user stands, and even recognizes objects in the room—such as furniture—both incorporating them into the game or masking them by using video output to make the objects invisible.
“Our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences,” Microsoft said. “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.”
[Image via Microsoft]
I want more stuff like this!