The MIT Media Lab has developed an alternative to creating realistic television environments without super-massive, super-expensive home theater systems. The Infinity-by-Nine project, developed by Daniel Novy and V. Michael Bove Jr. expands the viewing area of a television by generating peripheral visuals and projecting them onto screens adjacent to the viewer. Because peripheral vision is always blurred, any images projected only need to retain basic light elements to trick the mind into thinking it is physically immersed.
The Infinity-by-Nine system uses affordable, low-power equipment to generate real-time extensions of the visuals giving it an edge over conceptually similar systems. The ambient lighting created by Infinity-By-Nine is tested to draw the viewer into the universe and story of video they watch. The illusion of immersion is so powerful that some testers experienced synesthetic effects like feeling the heat from an explosion seen on screen.
The project is in a research and development phase, so there is no indication when it will be possible to put an Infinity-by-Nine system in the home. The system can be used on any time of visual content, from live television, to movies and games.