Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is conducting a rally in its stock of late, one in which the company is achieving a 52-week high in its stock price. The question is, with the very low numbers of sales of the Surface tablet and the slow integration of the Windows 8 platform, where is this rally coming from? And better yet, is this real, or virtual?
Virtual reality was essentially introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s with those "Is it live, or is it Memorex" audio cassette commercials. Over the years, the idea of making "copies" of real life has been relentless. What about the odyssey back the other direction - making the reality more virtual? Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been at the edge of virtual reality thanks to game consoles like the Xbox and its related Kinect. Now, however, Microsoft is looking to swim upstream with its IntelliRoom project, which is designed to make the virtual more real to gamers.
"A lot of previous research has said, 'Let's take a virtual thing and put it in your physical environment,'" researcher Brett Jones said. "What we wanted to do is take a physical environment and make it virtual."
Image: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)
The concept is still in its research phase, but a demonstration of this concept is expected in July at a conference in Anaheim, Calif. In the meantime, researchers at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are working toward putting gamers inside a video game by bringing the virtual gaming world outside of the TV box and into the living room itself. The concept is based on a Kinect three-dimensional sensor, which picks up the furniture, layout and color in a gamer's living room or gaming space.
Then, the video game would then create a virtual environment and project it on the walls, ceiling and floor of the space, basically enveloping the gamer inside the game. It would even develop the realism of virtual bullets in a shooting game coming out of the TV and appearing to buzz right past the gamer. Although this concept in still a long way from being implemented commercially, the thought of making video games a full sensory experience is not new - it's just the technology is finally getting to the point where it is conceivable.
"We know what your room looks like," Jones said. "We have 3D information and we have color information. We take that and build a game experience around it."
What do you think of this Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) research project? Will this be the future of gaming, and could it be the future of technology as a whole? We'd like your thoughts in the comments section below.