Is Microsoft’s IllumiRoom the future of gaming?

January 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News

At Samsung’s keynote at CES today, Microsoft unveiled IllumiRoom, a futuristic projection-based technology for video games.

IllumiRoom acts an extension to the TV, and uses Kinect to map the play area and project images relating to the media playing from an Xbox. Microsoft explains that IllumiRoom “augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience,” and can bring about a change of “appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.”

The projection uses Kinect’s mapping technology, which captures the geometry of a room and adapts projected visuals “in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics”.

To better understand the concept, Microsoft showed off a short footage of the 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 is only a proof-of-concept yet, and whether it will be incorporated into the next Xbox or the next version of Kinect is unclear. Microsoft promises to share more details at the ACM SIGCHI Conference in April.

Low cost iPhone to debut late 2013?

January 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Apple, News

First reported by WSJ and followed by Bloomberg, news of a low cost iPhone to be released sometime in the latter half of 2013 has become the first Apple smartphone leak rumour of the new year.

According to the WSJ report, “the cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body.” While Bloomberg is now reporting that the device will debut with a price tag of between $99 and $150. They also reveal that the company has been working on the new model since February last year and has spoken to at least one of the top U.S. wireless carriers about its plans.

Sales of the iPad Mini show that there is demand for low cost computing and has perhaps piqued Apple’s interest in capturing customers in emerging markets. But it may be remembered that rumours of low cost and smaller iPhones have been around since 2011 and nothing has materialized yet.

More BlackBerry 10 devices launching in 2013

January 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News

While images of an upcoming QWERTY BlackBerry 10 device have already been circulating the Internet for a while now, Research In Motion has plans to launch other BlackBerry 10 devices this year, as many as six handsets in total.

In an interview with FierceWireless at CES, CMO Frank Boulben commented that while RIM will launch a full touch and QWERTY device later this month, they have many more models planned for the rest of the year, each one targeting different price points.

The BlackBerry 10 OS is a complete ground-up redesign of the BlackBerry experience, one that relies heavily on gestures to navigate around the interface. Delays last year forced RIM to postpone the flagship launch, but it has confirmed a launch event for BlackBerry 10 in New York and other parts of the world on Jan 30th. Many analysts are skeptical that BlackBerry 10 will revive RIM’s dwindling status in the mobile market against the likes of Apple and Android, but only in a few weeks time will we really see the reception for the new OS.

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