Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 


If you thought your grandma was dangerous with a Wii Remote, just wait until she starts leaping round the living room, whacking moles on the cabinet.

Microsoft Research debuted its RoomAlive project this weekend, showing off the technology that can transform any living room into a giant, interactive augmented-reality display. It’s only a proof-of-concept right now, but it shows that Microsoft is still keen to make use of its Kinect camera. The company packed in the motion-sensing device (a move that upset some people) with every Xbox One console at launch, keeping the price of the console higher than its direct competitor, the PlayStation 4.

One of the demonstration modes for RoomAlive lets players whack moles appearing around the room, using their body or a gun peripheral. Another mode sees players using a traditional gamepad to control a robot that moves round the living room, across the floor and up walls. RoomAlive can also project images from media beyond games into a room, such as a forest complete with a river running past your feet.

Of course, setting up a room as an interactive environment isn’t straightforward, and the RoomAlive demonstration uses six projectors and six Kinect units to run, all suspended from the ceiling. Such a hardware-intensive setup makes the project far from commercially viable in its present state. For a start, I’m not sure my ceiling would take all that extra weight.

Webinar

Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

The RoomAlive system self-calibrates, however, so as long as you can get the cameras up, with their fields of view overlapping, the tech side of things should largely take care of itself.

RoomAlive is a very similar concept to Illumiroom, another experimental project that Microsoft showed off last year. Illumiroom only extended the gaming environment to the wall behind a TV, but RoomAlive takes things to another level.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member