Microsoft's RoomAlive turns rooms into augmented interactive displays
RoomAlive by Microsoft

Microsoft's RoomAlive transforms any room "into an augmented interactive display"

News: technology company Microsoft's research branch has combined projection mapping with motion sensors to turn enclosed spaces into immersive augmented experiences.

Microsoft Research has released a film demonstrating its "proof-of-concept prototype" for RoomAlive, which uses a series of projectors and depth cameras to overlay existing surfaces with images – turning the entire room into a giant interactive screen.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

The experience is created using ProCam units, which combine a field-of-view projector, a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor and a computer.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

A series of these units are mounted onto the ceiling, facing in different directions so the fields of view overlap. The units automatically calibrate so they can be easily installed by users.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

Each ProCam – which can differentiate between horizontal, vertical and floor-plane surfaces – provides depth maps that form a digital model of the space.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

The projectors then cover the room, furniture and people within it with pixels that can be used for both input and output. This allows users to interact with the graphics, which respond to movement and touch.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

Microsoft's example scenarios include a Star Trek-esque Holodeck, a factory interior and a river running along the floor.

RoomAlive by Microsoft

"These experiences are just samples of what is possible with RoomAlive," said the commentary on the video demonstration. "In summary, RoomAlive enables any living room to be transformed into augmented reality display."

RoomAlive by Microsoft

The technology was designed for enhanced video gaming experiences, but has the potential to be used for interactive installations and spatial planning.