January 10, 2013
‘No Show’ Microsoft Shows Up At CES With IllumiRoom For Xbox
[Watch Video: IllumiRoom Projects Images Beyond Your TV]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe OnlineDespite a physical absence, Microsoft still was able to somehow manage to show up through the avatar of Samsung here at the 2013 International CES, unveiling some new technology for its Xbox system.
Microsoft used Samsung's Keynote to demonstrate the new technology "IllumiRoom" at CES through a video.
This device apparently is a way to try and help gamers immerse themselves even more into the game, by projecting some images onto the walls in their gaming rooms.
According to the video demonstration, IllumiRoom uses both Kinect, and a projector to make the effect. At the beginning of the video, Kinect scans the room's physical appearance to help adapt to the visuals in real-time.
For the most part, the graphics help to add a bit of ambience to the games that couldn't be there otherwise. It is not so much turning your wall into a screen, as it is utilizing your room as the icing on the cake.
IllumiRoom doesn't seem to be so much as a "must have," but is definitely a cool way to add some depth to Xbox binges.
A video released by Microsoft Research states that IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept that is "designed to push the boundary of living room immersive entertainment.
Microsoft says that it blends both the virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations with the game.
"The effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live — not special effects added in post processing," Microsoft wrote.
More so than the actual device, the news story really behind this is that despite Microsoft saying it would not be coming to CES this year, it seems as though it didn't have the jewels to step away altogether.
Obviously the company was foolish to think it didn't need CES, because here it is using the world's most popular electronics event as a platform for an unreleased gaming device. Fortunately, Microsoft's buddy, Samsung, still sees the good in CES, so it was able to depend on them to show the video during the Keynote.
It seems as though, yet again, Microsoft was just trying to follow in the footsteps of Apple, who has no presence at CES, but dominates discussions with accessories for its iPhone and iPad, albeit at the third-party level.
For all those who have wondered, and wrote about, whether CES was still relevant, this news piece alone should tell you that not only is it relevant, but every major technology company in the world but Apple needs CES for something.