I have written a lot in the past about Oculus Rift and how it has the potential to revolutionize gaming industry. Yesterday, I came across this system called RoomAlive on New Scientist, which is being hailed as the next big thing in gaming.
RoomAlive is developed by Microsoft.
What is RoomAlive?
RoomAlive is capable of transforming any room into a giant playing arena. It is an extension of Microsoft’s previous IllumiRoom research project. It uses and combines Kinect and projectors to create a unique augmented reality experience in a room. You can interact with the objects and play it. It uses six Kinect depth cameras for depth sensing.
How RoomAlive projects things?
The basic unit of RoomAlive is called a node. A node consists of a projector, a Kinect camera and a computer. The node is fitted on the ceiling and it creates a 3D projection in the room. Microsoft research has used around three such nodes to cover an average sized living room.
How it engages the player?
RoomAlive tracks your position continuously in the real time. Anytime you touch a surface, it responds and acts like a touchscreen. This is possible because the projectors are knowing your positions. It uses parallax technology i.e. using 2D projections to look like 3D projections. Microsoft has also enabled a technology named Mano-a-mano i.e. two people can enjoy a unique perspective in the same room.
What games are available right now on RoomAlive?
Games developed for RoomAlive include Whack-A-Mole. In this game, players have to use an infrared gun to bust moles which appear all around the room. Another game includes a robot fighting game played with an ordinary Xbox controller.
A Microsoft Research spokesperson says :
“There’s still lots to explore with RoomAlive as a gaming platform, we envision a future where games can use physical objects as part of the game.”