How IllumiRoom can be a Killer Feature for the Next Xbox



With the Internet rumour mill working overtime after Microsoft announced an upcoming Xbox-related press conference on May 21st, it seems really interesting that the Redmond-based software giant has chosen to divulge more information regarding IllumiRoom this week.

With the Internet rumour mill working overtime after Microsoft announced an upcoming Xbox-related press conference on May 21st, it seems really interesting that the Redmond-based software giant has chosen to divulge more information regarding IllumiRoom this week. I say this because IllumiRoom has the potential to be a killer feature for the upcoming Xbox console.

So if you missed the original IllumiRoom unveil at CES 2013, let me take the time to fill in some of the details for you. Well, at a basic level, IllumiRoom is a wide-angle projector that should be (ideally) placed on your coffee table and pointed towards your Television.  The current prototype has Kinect device literally strapped to the projector, but the final design will have a Kinect sensor built in.

IllumiRoom 1

But what is the Point of IllumiRoom? Well, the Kinect will use an automatic calibration process to capture the colour, shape, and depth of the wall and furniture around your TV. Then all you need to do is to wirelessly hook-up IllumiRoom to your console, and then watch your device project lights around your TV set to extend the image displayed on the TV in actual real-time.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well you should definitely check out this video then...

Error loading MacroEngine script (file: ShowAsset.cshtml)

So what exactly can IllumiRoom do?

As seen in the video, IllumiRoom has the ability to increase immersion by extending your game's reality. The device can do this by boosting the saturation of your surrounding furniture, turn your TV as well as the surrounding area black and white, or by creating a comic-book style effect by outlining every edge. IllumiRoom can also project a star field, snowflakes that gather on your shelves, or a futuristic Tron-like grid that would be awesome to play upcoming sci-fi shooters like Destiny on.

IllumiRoom 2

Another option for IllumiRoom is to get it to display the course of the projectiles and explosions off the screen. So instead of a shot simply missing you, you can see the bullet fly past you characters left or right shoulder. You'll even be able to see the grenade's explosion spill over the side of the screen. This is a really interesting application, and it should work really well with Xbox-exclusive franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Alan Wake.

Well what do we think then?

It goes without saying that the basic concept behind IllumiRoom is very exciting. It's not exactly a secret that many of us are quite in to our gaming over here at Currys and PC World, so anything that will help increase immersion is only a bonus in our eyes.

Moreover, I really hope that many of the upcoming next-generation titles can take advantage of IllumiRoom's features. Seriously, could you imagine how awesome games like Watch Dogs, Witcher 3, and even a potential new Fallout title could be if the game took up your entire field of vision. I mean, never again would I be attacked unaware by a pesky Super Mutant or Deathclaw… which is only ever a good thing in my eyes.

What do you think of IllumiRoom? What games would you like to play on it? Let us know in the comments below...