September 12, 2012 weblog
Microsoft has patent ambitions for immersive gaming
(Phys.org)—Microsoft knows how to play games. They have proven themselves worthy of growing a customer base of gaming enthusiasts with their Xbox and Kinect. Now Microsoft watchers are talking about the company's recent filing of a patent that takes the Microsoft vision of gaming to the all-pervasive level. Patently Apple has posted details about a Microsoft patent recently published by the US Trademark and Patent Office. The patent shows Microsoft has ambitions to transform entire rooms into game environments. The patent shows plans for game-playing in immersive display settings where users get to work with images projected onto realtime surfaces of their room.
The patent suggests that the immersive environmental display will project 360-degree game worlds across all walls of a room using advanced projection technology. Peripheral images will serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.
The system components responsible for this all-round immersion would include the game console, the primary screen (HDTV), the environmental display, and system-depth camera. That way, the environment of the game being played is on the walls of the room. According to Patently Apple, the filing demonstrates one scenario where a user plays a game using an interactive computing system such as the Xbox gaming console that outputs a primary image to the user's TV and projects a peripheral image on walls or furniture via environmental display.
Microsoft notes that a future version of their Xbox will be able to connect the environmental display which incorporates a depth camera. The depth camera is configured to generate three-dimensional depth information for the total display environment. The patent filing says some embodiments may go 3-D, to be experienced along with complementary color glasses, to view stereographic images from the primary and environmental displays.
All this talk is making observers more curious and anxious about what is in store in the upcoming Xbox 720, which may carry an environment projection system. The product may be introduced next year. In March news of Microsoft's 'Projector Eyewear' revealed a patent filed by Microsoft describing a headset that would project game audio and visuals directly into the user's eyes and ears.
Patently Apple is enthusiastic, noting that the gaming environment taking over all four walls around us could be a real breakthrough in the gaming experience. Its report noted that previous attempts to inject realism into gaming have included switching from two-dimensional to three-dimensional animation techniques, raising the resolution of graphics, improving on sound effects, and creating more natural game controllers.
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