In the world of Star Trek, Geordi LaForge could step into a Holodeck and have it become what ever world he imagined. In the world of Community, Troy and Abed could step into the Dreamatorium and do the exact same thing… through the power of imagination that is. Well, it seems Microsoft has created something that’s not quite the Holodeck but makes the Dreamatorium look like child’s play – which, it pretty much is. What they’ve created is the IllumiRoom. Using a wide angled projector and an X-Box Kinect to scan your environment, the IllumiRoom allows images from your screen to leap from your TV and invade your room, creating a fully immersive experience.
While at first glance, this new technology looks like it would be a dizzy distraction, just check out the video. Like stated before, the IllumiRoom can extend the image from your TV to the rest of your room creating the illusion that you’re actually in the environment. Or it can choose to only have certain elements escape the confines of your TV. In a video game, bullet trails or explosions can burst from your TV anytime your character is rocked by an RPG. Bonus items that would usually be unseen off-screen could be seen glowing at the foot of your coffee table.
And while it seems the IllumiRoom is geared more towards gaming, it can also be just as powerful for movies. The IllumiRoom can scan your environment and project a duplicate image of the room on to itself. By doing this, the room can look to shake during a movie’s earthquake or ripple at the impact of a spaceship crash landing. It could even (With cooperative programing in the movie file) create complimentary environments during scenes of the movie. Waves could crash all around you while watching Life of Pi or stars could whiz by your face as the Millenium Falcon jumps into hyperspace.
While it’s still in prototype form as of now, we could easily see this technology being put to great use in theaters in the near future. (Star Wars Episode VII anyone!?)