Techno Trends

The big ideas that are changing everything

Augmented Reality in your Living Room

A new proof-of-concept system is designed to enhance interactive entertainment experiences by projecting visualizations beyond the television screen and onto the walls of the room to create an immersive gaming environment without the need for customized graphics. Dubbed IllumiRoom, it utilizes a Kinect camera to automatically capture the geometry of the room so that the projected visuals can be adapted in real time.

The new system would enable a whole different level of gaming. Imagine driving through the mountains in a virtual car race while snowflakes swarm around the room or travelling through virtual space while stars and planets zoom past. Unfortunately, there are still a number of obstacles to widespread commercialization of such a system, including cost, complexity, and the availability of compatible content, but given the rapid pace of technological innovation it may not take that long before you might be able to buy one for your own living room.

For information: Microsoft Research Labs, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052; phone: 800-642-7676; Web site;

Daniel Burrus' Top Twenty Technology-Driven Trends for 2013