Everyone is buzzing about Microsoft’s Room Alive tech demo this morning. We saw a glimpse of it in early 2013. Then it was dubbed IllumniRoom, and used projectors to push the game beyond the boundaries of your TV.
Approaching two years later, the name has been changed to something equally terrible, and we are no closer to being able to actually buy a product. Knowing Microsoft, it will wait till someone else launches it, and then come in late to the party.
The new RoomAlive skips the TV, and puts the game on your wall. It syncs with a Kinect, that measures the boundaries of a room, and uses that information to blast the picture on whichever wall you want. Another interesting feature is that you can interact with the game.
Microsoft is rather insistent about getting us gamers off the couch. It actually will remind you of a holodeck. Granted, it’s a very low-res two-dimensional one tossed onto your wall. Have to start somewhere though.
Microsoft released a statement on the tech along with the video. “RoomAlive is a proof-of-concept prototype that transforms any room into an immersive, augmented entertainment experience. Our system enables new interactive projection mapping experiences that dynamically adapts content to any room. Users can touch, shoot, stomp, dodge and steer projected content that seamlessly co-exists with their existing physical environment.”
So, when can we buy this? Probably never, the whole project is R&D. That doesn’t mean the tech won’t make its way into a product. Facebook has Oculus and Morpheus is under the development. VR makes for a great immersive experience that is personal. For a group? Microsoft may have something here that shakes up gaming and other verticals.
Let’s just hope it is not one tech demo after another that turns into vaporware. Check out the video below.