Microsoft has revealed that it is working on the development of a number of new augmented reality projectors.

The technology giant's handheld pico projector uses an infrared camera and an Inertia Measurement Unit, which can work out where the projector is pointing, while the infrared picks up shadow images to allow the user to interact with their environment.

This opens up the possibility of new gaming ideas in which the users can use the shadow of themselves to control what goes on in the play.

In addition, Microsoft is working on a room projector that uses a mobile projector to track the position of the user within the space. This allows for a different kind of interaction, while effectively projecting the individual into the virtual space.

Thirdly, the firm is working on a headset unit that will work to map the room and allow the user to see the virtual room. One of the main advantages of this set up is that the user will wear the illuminating gadgets on their head, rather than having to point a handheld projector and camera at what they want to see.

Disney has also developed something similar, using projectors to allow people to interact with a virtual environment. It remains to be seen if these gadgets will thrive in the commercial environment.