Microsoft have just released a video at CES for their proof-of-concept IllumiRooom, which uses the Kinect and a rear projector to improve the user’s gaming experience by lighting up the area around the TV screen and displaying contextually relevant content. As you can see in the video below, the content projected can be subtle, complimenting the on-screen experience, see the falling snow at 0:48, or more full-on and intrusive by extending the on-screen area of a game, such as the Halo example at 0:27.
At first this looks like a more sophisticated version of Philip’s Ambilight concept (from 10 years ago!), something that obviously never caught on, but what caught my eye with this is the recognition from Microsoft that user experience is much wider than what can be displayed on-screen. Extending content onto the area around the TV screen adds atmosphere, focus, and makes for a more immersive gaming experience. I have half-watched films whilst playing on my phone, browsing the internet on my laptop, or tidying the room, all having a detrimental effect on my view of that piece of content because I was not focussed on the content that a studio had carefully crafted. I love the fact that this IllumiRoom product helps you to focus tightly on the content you are consuming.
It’s worth remembering that what consumers experience when interacting with your product or content is only partially what is displayed on-screen.
Read more about the IllumiRoom here.