Xbox 720 Features: No IllumiRoom At Launch

Microsoft's announcement of its so-called IllumiRoom technology has those anticipating the Xbox 720 even more excited, but it looks like the technology will not become available with the launch of the console.

Microsoft showed off a demo of the augmented reality system back in January, at Samsung's CES press conference and since then, details have been trickling out. IllumiRoom, which is expected to come to the Xbox 720 at some point, expands the graphics of whichever game the user is playing beyond the confines of the television screen and into the room. It works through Kinect, which digitally maps the room and then overlays with dynamically changing graphics.

However, Hrvoje Benko and Brett Jones of Microsoft Research told Engadget that the IllumiRoom technology will not make it to the launch of the Xbox 720. Instead, the technology will be demonstrated in concept form this year. It won't even make an appearance at E3, with a public appearance at Siggraph in July expected. According to researchers, the technology is "working well" but still requires further development. It's possible that Microsoft may be planning to release the technology later in the lifespan of the Xbox 720 as a sort of refresher, much as it did with Kinect for the Xbox 360.

Based on a video demonstrating the Xbox 720 IllumiRoom technology, the effects appear impressive. Colored lights and explosions on screen extend into the room and explosions that occur on-screen create a ripple effect around the television.

But Microsoft isn't stopping the technology with Xbox 720 games: the feature can even be applied to movies. Imagine watching The Lord of the Rings in an immersive, digital overlay environment.

We'll stay tuned for more details on Microsoft's IllumiRoom technology along with its possible release date and be sure to keep you posted.

In the meantime, you can watch a video demonstrating the IllumiRoom technology below.

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