A Microsoft patent application for an "immersive display experience" has been published by the USPTO. The application describes a system that would augment a "primary display" – say, a television – with a "peripheral image" projected onto the surrounding environment, essentially extending the image of the primary display all around the user. The user could then be tracked within the environment by a depth camera (a Kinect, perhaps?). In shorter terms, as noted by Ars Technica, it looks something like a poor man's holodeck.
The patent application notes that the system could be used to make video games more realistic. As an example, a player might notice an enemy sneaking up "behind" him in his peripheral vision, as the enemy would be physically projected behind the player onto a wall.
If all of this sounds a tad familiar, it might be because we saw Microsoft demonstrate something very similar in May 2011, only two months after this patent was initially filed. As part of a Microsoft campus tour video, the company showcased its "Home of the Future," which used just such a technology, turning nearly every surface of a mocked up home into a display. Check out videos of the tech after the break.