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Microsoft’s ‘RoomAlive’ turns your living room into a Holodek

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Microsoft’s ‘RoomAlive’ turns your living room into a Holodek

Post  Admin on Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:38 pm

Microsoft first showed off its compelling "Illumiroom" technology back at CES. In a nutshell, it extends a video game (or, conceivably, other forms of entertainment) beyond the borders of the television, creeping out onto walls and creating a much more immersive experience.

It’s come a long way. Renamed “RoomAlive,” the tech now reaches past the walls and into the living room, turning couches and coffee tables into playable surfaces. It's a poor man's version of the Holodek from Star Trek, and it sure looks cool.

A newly released RoomAlive proof-of-concept video demonstrates how the tech works. RoomAlive requires a combination of projectors and Kinect sensors placed on or near the ceiling. That lets the system track your movement and interact with elements splayed out on your furniture, something Illumiroom wasn't capable of.

The gameplay demos are pretty rudimentary, but still intriguing. Image playing Whack-A-Mole, where the mole could burst from walls or peek around the corner of a chair. Another demo shows players controlling a soldier wandering around the room, avoiding real-world obstacles and being chased by a series of robots.

The big caveat to all this? It’s nowhere near consumer-ready and is likely far too expensive and unwieldy to turn us into Captain Picard any time soon. But it's certainly a notable start.


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