27 Feb 2013

IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences // Microsoft Research

Wow! IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research. It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience. I think this is an excellent and smart implementation using the Kinect and projection. They have taken the confined experience of a tv screen and extended the virtual world to the physical world. I love that they didn’t do a literal extension of the virtual environment, but decided to depict the surroundings with a variety visual styles (otherwise they could have just used a projector). I can definitely see this system make gaming to be more engaging and immersive.

PhobiAR // HITLabNZ

An advanced interactive exposure therapy system to treat specific phobias, such as the fear of spiders. This system will be based on AR technology, allowing patients to see virtual fear stimuli overlaid on the real world and to interact with the stimuli in real time. I think this is a very interesting usage of Augmented Reality. Even though I know the spider is fake, it still gives me goosebumps seeing how it walks up that person’s hand. I would love to see how effective this treatment is for people who actually have arachnophobia.

Leap Motion

Leap Motion represents an entirely new way to interact with your computers. It’s more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen. For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements. Just look at the accuracy! It’s hard to believe how precise the tracking of the fingers are and how fast it responds. I’m very curious and excited to get my hands on a leap motion and test it out for myself. I think this will be the next big thing for designers, similar to what the Kinect was, but this time it’s for your hands/fingers!