Razer unveils Project Ariana, a 4K projector that blurs the line between your screen and living room

Long live IllumiRoom.

Razer’s crazy new triple-display laptop might take center stage this year, but the company also trotted out a more realistic concept during CES, too—a 4K projector. Yes, Razer is making a projector.

Okay, not just a projector. In fact, Project Ariana is suspiciously similar to Microsoft’s maybe-abandoned IllumiRoom concept from a few years back. IllumiRoom used the Kinect’s depth-sensing capabilities to map the area around your TV, and then took that data and “extended” your screen out into the room itself. Here’s a demo from 2013:

IllumiRoom could also enhance games in subtler ways. The famous example was snow falling around the edges of the room while racing on a snowy track, and thus adding a bit more atmosphere to the room you were in.

Project Ariana does the same, albeit without the all-in-one convenience of the Kinect. Instead Razer uses a pair of 3D depth-sensing cameras—perhaps similar to the RealSense cameras used in its Stargazer webcam—to map out a room and any furniture in it.

Project Ariana Razer

Ariana can then project a variety of information, depending on what game developers choose to implement. Razer tossed a few examples at me during our discussion: elements of the game’s interface (like a map of the area), countdown timers for skills, the extension of the screen’s edges onto the room’s walls (just like IllumiRoom).

Powering all of this is Razer’s Chroma lighting API, albeit a more advanced version than the one used to customize the company’s RGB peripherals (keyboards, headsets, mice, mousepads). Project Ariana is really a proof-of-concept for where Razer wants to go in the future.

“Video projection, multi-color lighting, and the responsive intelligence of our Razer Chroma engine are changing the way we game today,” said CEO Min-Liang Tan in a press release. “Project Ariana is a concept design that showcases the power and potential of the Razer Chroma platform in the pre-VR world in bridging the gap between gamers and games.”

Project Ariana Razer

That future includes third-parties, too—a licensing program was also announced at CES today. Razer stated in its press release that “a growing number of hardware partners are queued to leverage the Razer Chroma platform”—partners that include Lenovo, NZXT, Antec, Lian Li, Wicked Lasers, and Nanoleaf.

No hard announcements yet on what those third-party companies have planned, but it’s an important step. Until now, all of these lighting solutions—be it Logitech’s, Corsair’s, Razer’s, et al—have functioned primarily as first-party value-adds. Razer’s move might see the market increasingly divided by the APIs used to power decorative LED elements. Of all things.

Project Ariana Razer

For now, though, Chroma's big plans involve just the projector. And even that might not make it out of the concept phase, given “Project” is the designation Razer tags on to all its in-flux ideas. However, I was told that Ariana is slated to launch by the end of 2017, should it get enough positive feedback.

That’s right: By this time next year, you could have a Razer-branded 4K projector in your home. Weird.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CES 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?