ROOMALIVE: THE OTHER RESIDENT
RoomAlive: The Other Resident is an immersive narrative experience for Microsoft Research's RoomAlive system, made as my intern project at Microsoft Research in the summer of 2014.
RoomAlive is a research project that aims creates spatial augmented reality experiences inside users' living rooms. When I joined the project, I was struck by the unique affordances of the system. Unlike typical VR or AR experiences, RoomAlive does not require any wearable headgear and has a massive field of view.
It is also more grounded in the real world than even a head-mounted AR system. Rather than rendering its visuals on a traditional display, RoomAlive uses projection mapping techniques to use your entire room as a screen. In addition, it is built to track your movements through, and interactions with, your room.
I started this project by collaborating with the team at MSR to come up with several ideas for novel interactions and visual effects that would take advantage of these characteristics. Over the course of the summer, I created several prototypes involving dynamic relighting, distortion effects, playground-style gameplay, virtual mirrors, and manipulating scale and motion.
Towards the end of the summer, I assembled my best experiments, along with some new material, into a cohesive five minute experience called "RoomAlive: The Other Resident."
Something that was really fun about putting this story together was creating the costumes, capturing live performances and then doing real-time lighting and shading of RGBD video. RoomAlive has the ability to render other people in the space, which we had been using for real-time communication from one room to the next. I thought it was a great opportunity to create some spooky, life-sized characters that would inhabit the same small space as the player.