Microsoft Research shows off IllumiRoom at CES

Microsoft may have pulled out of the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013 and going forward, but not stayed away. CEO Steve Ballmer still managed to find his way on stage for the big pre-show keynote and now the Research arm of the company has arrived in Las Vegas as well.

Eric Rudder, Microsoft’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer, made his way into the Samsung keynote earlier today to show off IllumiRoom.

If you have not yet heard about IllumiRoom then you are not alone. This is a project designed to "blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds". A 1.17-minute video posted by Microsoft's Steve Clayton gives a tantalizing demonstration using Xbox and Kinect. A gamer uses the technology to project his games beyond the TV screen and onto the walls around it and even the floor in front of him, making for a larger, more immersive experience.

What does any of this have to do with Samsung? Clayton explains that "Microsoft partners like Nokia and Samsung have both used pre-rendered footage in recent marketing efforts. What’s new in this work is that our researchers used Kinect for Windows to map the room in real-time in order to make projected illusions fully interactive. Most importantly, the effects shown in the video were captured live as they appeared in the living room environment and are not the result of special effects added in post processing".

It is an impressive display to say the least. To say the most, it is certainly still far removed from our homes. In other words, it is in the works, but don't hold your breath. Still, it is fun to daydream sometimes. Plus, the technology will work with more than just Kinect so this may eventually find uses in many different areas. For now though, we must be happy with what we have.

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