With the introduction of the Wii in 2006, Nintendo introduced a new way to immerse users in certain games. In 2010 Sony followed suit with the Move, but it was the Kinect from Microsoft that took the next step in giving the user a truly immersive experience, removing the need for physical controllers and making you control the in game characters and objects using whatever body part you could move!
Talk of the next Xbox is growing and the next version of Kinect is being teased as well, adding more functionality to the device. Over at Patent Bolt, what could possibly be the successor (or addition) to Kinect has been detailed, following a recent Microsoft patent application.
There is only so far graphics, sound, interface and controls can go with the current (and likely next) generation of consoles. And now Microsoft are looking to push the boundaries of the immersive experience they started with Kinect, turning your room into the game environment. The patent states:
An immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.
The Xbox will still work in the same way, playing the game on a TV, while an environmental display will also project the game environment, seen outside TV screen boundaries, on surfaces around the room. The images show a user playing a first person shooter, but imagine being able to see enemies, literally out of the corner of your eye, while taking down the ones in front.
With Kinect to continue capturing your movements, a depth camera capturing your gaming space and the possibility of using 3D technology (using either 3D glasses or a TV with suitable parallax barriers) to bring the TV experience that bit closer to the user, it’s the next obvious step in bringing the user closer to their games (or bringing the games closer to the user).
Microsoft has teased holographic displays and interaction through their Research department, and with this patent application it looks likely that’s where they are ultimately going for the gaming experience. Although putting a timescale on the technology getting to the home is another question entirely.
How many of us are thinking "The holodeck in my lifetime? Yes please!"
By now, I'm sure we've all seen how the Wii U uses the tablet controller to allow the user to see what's outside of the screen, but this would take things to a whole new level.
There are many more details to wade through, such as environment colour compensation and how to keep the gamer from being mistaken for a piece of furniture! Hit up the source for all the information.
Source and images: Patent Bolt Thanks to Sandaror for the tip!