Microsoft Shows RoomAlive Augmented Reality For Kinect

Microsoft Research has revealed RoomAlive, an augmented reality prototype for the Xbox One’s Kinect that can envelop an entire room into a particular experience. It shows a video with a few games and applications.

One of the features of RoomAlive is that it can project some games, currently very basic, onto walls and floors. There are three items shown off: Whack-a-Mole, Robot Attack and Traps.

In Whack-a-Mole, players go around the room and try to touch or stomp projected characters. It’s also possible to use a gun device that the Kinect can pick up on.

Robot Attack controls a unit on the projected surface, taking out enemies in a shooter model. In Traps, the people in the room are the player and projected hazards react to their presence.

If you’re thinking of wrapping your room with some Kinect augment reality, however, there may be some reality check needed. RoomAlive works with a series of multiple projectors in conjunction with Kinect, so it takes an array of tech and resources to pull off.

As far as theory goes, RoomAlive is able to auto-calibrate equipment and self-localize, to map out the area that can be seen in a Unity engine representation. This also allows the technology to place an augmented scene in the room, creating a river on the floor with dynamic rain, for example.

That easy-going aspect would indicate that there is a consumer sensibility in mind that facilitates some of the process. Though, even like that, it would seem like a lot of work to set up multiple projectors to fully go around a room.

Maybe RoomAlive will one day serve as a gigantic augmented reality experience on Xbox One? We’re going to be cautious and say it’s unlikely, but you can dream.