What We'd Like To See From Microsoft's Illumiroom

by Jeff Cork on Feb 19, 2013 at 09:13 AM

Last month, Microsoft revealed a proof-of-concept video for something called Illumiroom. Like a lot of things at CES, it's likely that this is one of those things that was shown merely because it could be. In other words, don't start making space for it in your game space quite yet.

While Illumiroom might not come to fruition, it did make us think about the technology and how it could be incorporated into games. Here are some of our ideas.

One of the coolest parts in Aliens was when a scanning device discovered Ripley in her hypersleep chamber. A sharp blue line swept across the pod's interior, sending data back to her eventual rescuers. Judging from the reaction to Aliens: Colonial Marines, it's likely that Sega is going to be putting the franchise into hypersleep for a while, too. Still, we think the idea of a scanning device sweeping over a room could be neat – especially if it was used in conjunction with Kinect, providing instant feedback that a person was detected in the room.

How Are You Feeling?
At this point, character damage in FPS games isn't represented by a numerical value. Instead, it's been replaced by a red tinge bordering the edge of the screen and eventually overtaking the display entirely. Why not expand on that, using a player's wall as a backdrop to show how injured their characters are? Having all that space could allow devs to provide even more visual space for damage feedback.

Horror Comes Home
You're playing a survival-horror game, when you enter a room filled with spiders and centipedes. You see movement in your peripheral vision, before you realize that your walls are becoming overrun with the creepy-crawley creatures. Sure, it's an illusion, but we can't help but think that it would be quite effective.

The interfaces behind Codemasters' UI are some of the best in the business. They've made great use of bold typography, sweeping effects, and dynamic pans and zooms. If the studio could work with an even larger canvas, it could do some pretty amazing things. The official video shows how snowy conditions and weather effects could be incorporated into games, as well.

Warp Speed
We've geeked out over the thought of speeding through the galaxy ever since we saw the original Star Wars trilogy. Not only is Illumiroom the perfect technology for throwing an expansive star field on our walls and ceiling during sci-fi games, but having those stars streak past us when we enter hyperspace would be thrilling, no matter how scientifically inaccurate it is. 

Getting chased by cops in GTA is nerve-wracking enough. Now imagine wall-sized sirens flashing on your walls.

Did we miss any bright ideas? Share them in the comments section below.