All the World’s a Screen (and We Are Merely Players)

I’m definitely the type of guy to say that something’s the coolest thing ever, and this Illumiroom concept from Microsoft is the coolest thing ever. Watch the video. I’ll wait.

So basically, the Kinect scans your living room and then a projector creates a three-dimensional ambiance that extends past the limits of your TV when you’re playing games. If you’re on a snow level, it snows in the area “around” you. If you’re underground, the cave extends out from the TV.

But far from it being the annoying thing that your theater sometimes does when it projects the movie too large onto the screen, allowing the image to leak, you’re still only playing on the high-definition area defined by your TV screen…it’s only the ambiance that leaks.

The video makes it look like the coolest thing ever.

And I realize this is shades of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, where entertainment is immersively projected on all four walls, but he’s now passed on and I can say with only a little bit of guilt that it’s something I really want.

I can see technology like this influencing interior design as furniture and wall treatments and room shapes are created to account for the fact that moving images will be projected on them, or to be more easily scannable by the Kinect.

Microsoft is really doing great things (and allowing third parties to do great things) with the Kinect. The way they keep developing diverse applications, this piece of tech will eventually become a must-have part of any entertainment system, even if you’re not a gamer.

You can put it right on top of that dusty Wii you bought during its heyday and never use anymore.