When it isn't exploring the elusive relationships between technology and human intimacy, Spike Jonze's masterful 2013 film, Her, also teases the future of video games. A number of hilarious and trippy scenes find protagonist Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) playing an interactive game that transforms his entire living room wall into a massive touch-screen – and now, as The Wrap reports, this seemingly futuristic brand of gameplay is close to becoming a reality, thanks to Microsoft Research's RoomAlive project.
The above video demonstrates the technology, which uses Xbox Kinect sensors and projectors to turn a room into an interactive environment that responds to gamer touch and commands. "Users can touch, shoot, stomp, dodge and steer projected content that seamlessly co-exists with their existing physical environment," Microsoft noted in a statement. "The basic building blocks of RoomAlive are projector-depth camera units, which can be combined through a scalable, distributed framework. The projector-depth camera units are individually auto-calibrating, self-localizing, and create a unified model of the room with no user intervention."
Ten researchers collaborated to work on the prototype, which is still in its developmental infancy. But if the three-minute demo is any indication, it's going to blow the minds of gamers worldwide when the technology is harnessed into a commercial product. The clip features four different interactive environments – including an indoor factory and a river – along with multiple gaming scenarios, including a carnival-like "Whack-A-Mole" (featuring a gun control that can take aim at critters wandering the walls) a "Robot Attack" and "Darts," in which gamers must avoid simulated projectiles.
The future of nerddom is now.