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Microsoft Can Now Turn Any Space Into The Holodeck

October 6, 2014 | Telepresence Options

roomalive

Story and images by Fast Company

Prepare yourself. This is the craziest interactive demo you'll see all year.

Last year, Microsoft Research revealed Illumiroom--which used projectors to stretch the image on your TV to take over a whole wall. Now comes the sequel. Called RoomAlive, this new system can turn every surface in a room--from the floor to the couch cushions to your own skin--into a glowing screen that reacts to your movement. It's as if your whole analog world has been digitized. And that digital world can see where you're looking, pointing, and touching, and adapt itself accordingly.

roomalive-microsoft-holodek

Microsoft hasn't yet built Star Trek's fabled Holodeck, but as project researcher Brett Jones quips, "we joke that until we discover matter to energy conversion, this might be the closest we can get."

In the minds of its creators, RoomAlive is the antithesis of the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality headsets that isolate you, and pull your attention from the people and world around you. Instead, it's a means to keep play physical and social as we enter an era where virtual reality is plastering pixels straight on our eyes.

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