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Microsoft IllumiRoom

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During Samsung’s keynote at CES today, Microsoft unveiled IllumiRoom, a new technology that turns the entire room around your TV into an extension of the screen. As explained on Microsoft’s official site, IllumiRoom uses Kinect and a projector “to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds.”

Microsoft explains that IllumiRoom “augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience” and “can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences." Kinect captures the geometry of a room and adapts projected visuals “in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics.”

In a video demo shown off during Samsung’s keynote, Microsoft showed off several different applications of the technology, noting that the footage was “captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production.”

IllumiRoom appears to be the realization of the immersive display experience Microsoft patented last year, which aimed to make gaming “more realistic” and eliminating “out of context images” that sit next to your TV.

Whether or not IllumiRoom will tie-in with next Xbox or the next generation of Kinectremains to be seen, but Microsoft says more details will be revealed at the ACM SIGCHI Conference in Paris in April.

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Fuck that bullshit, After Microsoft sent in a Patent to basically be big brother, I'd rather dangle my balls in front of it repeatedly whacking the sensor.

Microsoft has filed for a Kinect-related patent, and it’s a doozy of an application. The abstract describes a camera-based system that would monitor the number of viewers in a room and check to see if the number of occupants exceeded a certain threshold set by the content provider. If there are too many warm bodies present, the device owner would be prompted to purchase a license for a greater number of viewers.

No, really. It’s that blunt. From the abstract: “The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.”

It’s refreshing to see Microsoft eschewing its play-nice-with-everyone approach to business for some old-fashioned, straight-up evil. The patent’s various claims can endow a device with a limited number of performances in a given period of time, a limited number of users allowed to view such performances, and the continuous monitoring of viewers during those performances. It also covers the determination of “when performance of the content to an identified user exceeds a threshold.”

MS-KinectPatent.png

The really interesting thing about this patent is that it suggests that copyright holders are allowed to govern performances in otherwise private dwellings. The application describes how the patent could be applied to head-mounted devices, large screens, gaming and media products, computers, and even mobile phones. Clearly, this isn’t just a method for cracking down on illicit big-screen viewings of movies and television that might plausibly be called a public performance.

ultraviolet-drm-300x173.jpgPerhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the logical extension of the “you only buy a license” philosophy that rules the content provider universe. Microsoft’s misstep here is in filing for a patent on devices that can onlyprovide a personal viewing experience. Getting 50 people together to watch a movie on someone’s 84-inch television may indeed count as a public performance, as far as copyright law is concerned. Two people watching a movie on a 10-inch iPad, on the other hand, isn’t quite the same thing. MS’s new patent covers both scenarios.

Recent developments in US copyright law could leave a patent like this without much of a bite. Last summer, Judge Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a lower court ruling that claimed embedding a video in a website qualified as copyright infringement. In the decision, Posner held that viewing an uploaded video does not infringe on copyright law’s reproductive or distributive rights. The law, he wrote, is unclear on whether or not the act of viewing content infringes on a copyright holder’s performance rights.

This question could have a significant impact on whether or not copyright holders spring for systems like the one Microsoft is trying to patent. If viewing a video online constitutes a performance infringement, rightsholders could mandate a user-detection scheme under the auspices of the DMCA. If it doesn’t, no electronics company on Earth will want to touch the idea for fear of a consumer backlash.

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Fuck that bullshit, After Microsoft sent in a Patent to basically be big brother, I'd rather dangle my balls in front of it repeatedly whacking the sensor.

Stuff

Shitty move by M$, of course, but only a moron wouldn't think to just unplug their Kinect if this goes through.

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Fuck that bullshit, After Microsoft sent in a Patent to basically be big brother, I'd rather dangle my balls in front of it repeatedly whacking the sensor.

Stuff

Shitty move by M$, of course, but only a moron wouldn't think to just unplug their Kinect if this goes through.

Supposedly this is for the Next console that will ship with Kinect built in, wouldn't be surprised the MPAA are honky fucking cunts.

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Will probably stick with Sony this time around (unless that used game thing goes through), but I would be the first mofo slicing wires if I had an Xbox and this Kinect thing happened.

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Sony seems like the type to implement such a greedy tactic. And MS seems like the type to spy on you.

l believe that the XBox has a menu option in which you can opt out of "sending audio and video data from your Kinect to Microsoft" (or something along those lines).

Of course, MS is innocent. All they want to do is improve Kinect. That's all...

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Will probably stick with Sony this time around (unless that used game thing goes through), but I would be the first mofo slicing wires if I had an Xbox and this Kinect thing happened.

I'm probably going to switch to PC with minimal console gaming except for social purposes.

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Who needs that when you can have this:

inventor_hugo_gernsback_wearing_television_glasses_life_1963.jpg

Personally, i think there will be some better tech around the corner. And unless your living room is almost completely white, you wont get the full experience out f that.

P.S. Imagine that with porn though.... interactive pron game with naked chicks or whatever your'e into all around the walls.

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what could possibly be better than a big HDTV?? why do i need lights on the walls and watching my wall crawl with images?? it looks annoying and distracting... about the only thing it'll entertain in my house is my cat... what the fuck is this shit??

pass, while laughing hysterically at those interested... have fun with being distracted by pretty lights....

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It turns your whole room into a projector, not just flashing lights... You could make a dedicated game room, paint it white, and it would be like having a 360 field of view.

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