Have you ever heard of IllumiRoom? Me either. It’s the Microsoft Research project that pairs an Xbox Kinect with a projector to extend your TV onto a wall, resulting in an unreal experience. The second iteration is now called RoomAlive and is a huge leap over what it was last year, apparently. The new system projects content throughout a room that you can interact with. Here’s how it works: Instead of a single Kinect and projector, it uses multiple “procams” consisting of off-the-shelf projectors, Kinects and a control device. Microsoft claims that it’s completely auto-calibrating and self-locating, enabling it to calculate the entire 3D geometry of your room in minutes.

Once installed, RoomAlive can track you and your weapons while you hit, kick or shoot creatures. It can also project textures and cyber-critters onto your walls and furniture, transforming your den into a holodeck or a factory, for example. I would love for MS to shift the focus of this technology from gaming to computing. It’s not exactly office friendly, but imagine how much you could accomplish if every office had a private room set up for this for conferences or brainstorming. Of course, the darker industries will find plenty of other things to use this on as well…

Microsoft’s RoomAlive turns your den into a video game level.