Microsoft IllumiRoom preview for next-generation Xbox

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Microsoft has remained fairly quiet about its next-generation Xbox plans and IllumiRoom. Microsoft's Eric Rudder and the Xbox team were quick to stress it's simply a proof-of-concept project, but they did share some basic information about how it works. 'The LED is projecting for a frame and then turning it off and Kinect IR is reading those layovers,' said Rudder. 'Then the Kinect turns off for a frame and then the projector goes on and then Kinect will go back and forth.' Rudder described the technology as 'incredibly sophisticated,' but that the experience is 'Oh, my TV got bigger, and I can project on anything because the surface doesn't need to be flat.' 

The current prototype uses a Kinect for Windows camera alongside a projector to transfer content onto walls. Kinect captures the color scheme and geometry of the room while the projector displays all of the visuals around the TV. Microsoft says its IllumiRoom system is self-calibrating and designed to work in any living room. There are a variety of ways in which IllumiRoom can add value to games, including by extending the content, highlighting the edges of games, or enhancing select game elements like weapons fire or explosions. Another method involves displaying markers, either for specific elements in a game or other characters in a multiplayer game.

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