Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Star Trek’s Holodeck, So Close We Can "Virtually" Taste It.

Star Trek’s Holodeck, So Close We Can "Virtually" Taste It.

Okay fellow Trek Fans, “hold on to yer hats and glasses, cuz this here’s the wildest ride in the Universe!” Star Trek predicts (or is that, directs) the future once again. We just found reports of a functional holodeck. Notice we didn’t say “fully” functional, as it doesn’t have force-field or replicator technology yet, but with the aid of fancy 3D glasses it’s pretty close. …Computer, Arch!

This Holodeck is actually the Duke immersive Visual Environment (DiVE), a six-sided structure that, when sealed, becomes a seamless virtual reality atmosphere built to enhance teaching, research and design planning. The chamber is 10 feet on each side. Each wall, including the floor and ceiling, functions as a large computer screen. Six computers control full-color projectors - one per wall - and a seventh is the master computer.

To use DiVE at its full capacity, users wear stereoscopic glasses made with liquid crystals that provide depth perception. Unlike 3-D glasses with red and blue lenses, the stereoscopic lenses are colorless, so the wearer can see all colors. The crystals also rotate, making the lenses alternate between transparency and opaqueness. That allows the eyes to fuse the 3-D imaging correctly, eliminating the blurry "ghosting" effect when video images double on the screen, Brady said.

Armed with a wand that tracks their movements and helps them navigate the virtual landscapes, users can be immersed in a believable visual fiction.

"Being inside the cube provides a large field of view," Brady said. "This is one of the best ways to interact with computer representations of data."

Now, what we want to know is…how can we get one?!