Microsoft’s RoomAlive turns your home into an augmented reality video game

Microsoft Research has demonstrated a prototype gaming system that turns any room into an immersive, augmented reality entertainment experience.

RoomAlive utilises a number of projectors and depth cameras to map the dimensions of a room, so that any surface can be used to display images.

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Microsoft explained that the concept works by using "projectors and depth cameras to cover an entire room, including the people and furniture inside, with pixels that can be used for both input and output."

Ceiling-mounted cameras also monitor any people within the room, in order to determine how they interact with the display.

While Microsoft has stressed that there are no plans to release the device as an add-on to its Xbox One console, the firm did demonstrate several demos that are being developed.

A whack-a-mole style game showed players shooting and hitting creatures as they appeared on walls, while another called "Traps" showed a series of flying projectiles which had to be dodged.

A third demo let players control a projected robot using a more conventional video game controller while enemies appeared from behind furniture.

Microsoft's research team reiterated that the project is only intended to show the possibilities of augmented gaming and that there are currently no plans to make the system available for consumers.

The concept may remind Microsoft fans of the IllumiRoom technology that the company revealed last year, which also extended graphics beyond the screen using a projector and Kinect camera.

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At the time, Microsoft said that the possibilities for the concept extended beyond gaming, also hinting at the possibility of more immersive TV and movie experiences.