Microsoft Research gives us a glimpse of future gaming with RoomAlive

Microsoft Research gives us a glimpse of future gaming with RoomAlive

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Gaming has come a long way since the days of the Sega Megadrive and Sonic the Hedgehog. We now have Oculus Rift and the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One that immerse us in the games we play. Microsoft Research has now given us a glimpse into what could be the future of gaming by way of RoomAlive.

[Image Source: Room Alive]

RoomAlive will add a totally new dimension to gaming. It relies on projection mapping and this means that video games may be brought to life in the player’s own living room and not on a display.

[Image Source: Room Alive]

With RoomAlive you are in the actual game thanks to all the visual elements being projected on the surfaces and walls. The visual elements are interactive thanks to the incorporation of Kinect sensors. This means that you could essentially be playing a shooting game and you could shoot an enemy that was sitting on a cupboard or maybe even your sofa.

[Image Source: Room Alive]

One of the main parts of the RoomAlive system is the multiple projector depth cameras, otherwise known as procams. Each of these comes with a computer, Kinect sensor, and projector. The projector is the component that puts the images onto the walls and surfaces around the room, while the Kinect is there to track any movements you make as you play in your gaming environment. The RoomAlive system makes use of six procams and can be used in any room, regardless of its shape or contents.

[Image Source: Room Alive]

Four interactive experiences have been designed by the team working on RoomAlive and these take full advantage of the system. The Setting the Stage experience turns any room into a different environment, while the Robot Attack has the player controlling a character that has to fight off robots. Whack-A-Mole sees moles popping up randomly around the room, which you have to shoot or stamp on and Traps is a game that has the player avoiding traps, which spring up out of the walls and on the floor.

[Image Source: Room Alive]

RoomAlive is a prototype that would, at the moment anyway, be too expensive for the average game player to have in their living room. It does however show how Microsoft is looking at ways to improve how we play games in the future and make them more interactive.

[Image Source: Room Alive]