Microsoft patents full-room 'immersive display'

A new patent from Microsoft hints at a display system that would project a panoramic scene across the walls of a room, augmented by Kinect's depth-sensing technology.


Microsoft took a bold (if uneven) step into motion gaming with the Kinect, and a new patent suggests it's looking into more ways to imitate science-fiction. The patent for an "immersive display experience" would project a panoramic view around the user to augment the picture found on-screen.

Ars Technica reports that the display would work with a depth-sensing camera like Kinect. The result would be an image projected onto the walls of your room, with the Kinect doing the heavy lifting in terms of determining depth. It could even judge the topography of the room, so objects like furniture could be compensated for with color and distortion tricks.

You could, for example, turn around to see an enemy behind you. Of course, the patent concedes that image projected "may be displayed at a lower resolution" than the image on your TV screen. As always, keep in mind that a patent doesn't guarantee a product will ever come to market, so this may be the last we hear of it.

The report cheekily refers to this as the Holodeck from Star Trek, but this is more a half-step in that direction than a full one. It wouldn't project 3D objects in the room, and the projection wouldn't look photo-realistic. But as an interesting piece of tech with the backing of a hardware giant, this could be worth watching.

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  • reply
    September 12, 2012 2:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Microsoft patents full-room 'immersive display'.

    A new patent from Microsoft hints at a display system that would project a panoramic scene across the walls of a room, augmented by Kinect's depth-sensing technology.

    • reply
      September 12, 2012 2:26 PM

      Prior art:

    • reply
      September 12, 2012 2:57 PM

      That could actually be pretty cool. Even if it just projected a kind of background image like a jungle or desert dunes... it could potentially add quite a bit of atmosphere to the scene. I find it hard to believe, however, that we will have projection technology in the next couple years which could be that small and project a high resolution image in a 360 degree field?

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      September 12, 2012 3:30 PM

      I'm assuming this video is why they are filing the patent:!

    • reply
      September 12, 2012 3:49 PM

      Hell ya! Sign me up.

      I run 5760x1080 on my PC and always thought the higher definition was a waste of processing power just for my peripheral vision.

    • reply
      September 12, 2012 4:18 PM

      Apparently, none of Microsoft's design staff live in small apartments.

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      September 12, 2012 4:54 PM

      Microsoft invents holodeck.

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      September 12, 2012 4:56 PM

      Wait, this isn't exactly like the holodeck and its not 100% photo realistic? How was it possible to find that out?

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        September 12, 2012 5:39 PM

        holodeck = using replicator technology and magnetic fields to create physical objects within the confine of a room.

        this = kinect mapping out the space of the room to adjust the distortion/skew of projected images in relation to the viewer to keep everything lined up properly, which can be used to make objects appear to be floating to the user.

        somewhat similar to this:

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          September 12, 2012 5:42 PM

          actually reading it, i see that it's not even doing the distortion/skewing (would look like shit unless you had 4k projectors anyways)

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      September 12, 2012 6:03 PM

      3d porn dudes

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        September 12, 2012 6:24 PM

        They're coming out of the god-damned walls!!!

    • reply
      September 12, 2012 6:26 PM

      I'm sure the 640x480 resolution projections will look wonderful. I'll be wonder if it's real life.

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