Star Trek Producer Proposes Modern Day Holodeck

Star Trek Producer Proposes Modern Day Holodeck

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Lee Sheldon wants to build a holodeck with contemporary technology.

If you've watched some of the later Star Trek series, you're probably familiar with the holodeck, a virtual reality room capable of simulating any situation programmed into it with lifelike fidelity. In the show's mythos, the holodeck could do everything from helping Captain Picard fight the Borg as a 1940s detective to impregnating a male chief engineer. The educational and entertainment potentials of such a device are limitless, but the technology just doesn't exist yet - unless you listen to Lee Sheldon, a writer and producer for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sheldon believes that he can build a reasonable approximation of the holodeck using modern day technology, and has already taken the first steps towards doing so.

Creating an entire world out of thin air seems like an impossibility for anyone outside of the 24th century, but Sheldon argues that humanity has already developed most of the disparate elements necessary. "You have 360 panoramic screens, 3D stereoscopic projection, surround sound, motion tracking interfaces that include everything from Kinect at the low end, intelligent virtual agents, omni-directional treadmill floors, compliant surfaces, adjustable air flow, temperature gradients, and Smell-O-Vision," Sheldon explains. "Why can't we bring back Smell-O-Vision?"

Combining a multitude of different systems is not quite as elegant as one single computer projection that stimulates all five senses, but Sheldon points out that the holodeck was not just a tech showcase; it was also a highly sophisticated form of play. "The holodeck was not about the technology, but the narrative immersion."As a result, Sheldon suggests that experienced game designers will be crucial in creating believable, immersive scenarios.

Sheldon's holodeck is still a long way off, but he has already taken his theory for a test run. His Emergent Reality Lab took a classroom full of students just learning Mandarin Chinese and attempted to teach them a semester's worth of material in eight weeks. Part of the learning experience involved students roleplaying being lost in a Beijing airport, complete with costumed actors, sets, and a huge Kinect-controlled screen simulating the airport's environments and facilities. According to Sheldon, the class ran through the preconceived scenario in a fraction of the time expected, and spent the rest of the lesson in a form of "emergent play."

Sheldon's trial is closer to theatrical improvisation - or even LARPing - than a real holodeck, but the inclusion of immersive technology and free-flowing narrative is a promising start. "Your players are smarter than you," he warns. "They'll figure things out faster than you, like the emergent play in our airport ... We cannot tell stories in the same way to make this thing work; in fact we have to give up some authorial control." The Emergent Reality Lab is in the process of conducting a more elaborate trial, so you, too, may be able to fight androids in the Old West sooner than you think.

Source: Gamasutra

Image: Memory Alpha

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couldn't you actually touch the stuff in a holodeck?
we can't do that....

while a 360 degree simulation might be really cool, it's not a holodeck

Sounds great, too bad if they made it I couldn't use it. If only I had the $100,000 to needed to rent it for an hour :P

Ralen-Sharr:
couldn't you actually touch the stuff in a holodeck?
we can't do that....

To do that They're gunna need different Sheldon.
image

I cannot, and will not, take anyhting seriously in science that comes from a person whose name is Sheldon.

See above image for clarification.

UK TV show called the Gadget show made one of these about a year ago. Only played one game (battlefield 3 or cod from memory) but still.

Had an omni treadmill to keep you in the middle and record some actions, kinect based motion controls for most of the rest, oh and paintball guns to provide directional incoming fire physical feedback.

Petromir:
UK TV show called the Gadget show made one of these about a year ago. Only played one game (battlefield 3 or cod from memory) but still.

Had an omni treadmill to keep you in the middle and record some actions, kinect based motion controls for most of the rest, oh and paintball guns to provide directional incoming fire physical feedback.

It was Battlefield 3.

Ralen-Sharr:
couldn't you actually touch the stuff in a holodeck?
we can't do that....

YET....

All things must begin somewhere, Why not begin them here? We may be only a few years of research away from a light-based object being touchable.

I'm all for trying to build something most deem impossible. If I had money to give, I'd force it down this man's wallet, but I'm too poor. I know this much though, we will eventually need this and a more portable version for relaxation and play, the vr headset, that one's probably much farther off though, Oculus aside.

i'm not gonna try to squash the motivation of someone who wants to dream big, but i'm not gonna hold my breath over here either. all i'll say is, good luck. keep in mind it'll never be real to anyone if they can't touch it.

So when can I walk on a virtual moon without knocking over my glass table? I'm sorry but the sooner we can get rid of the physical boundaries without over-elaborate equipment, the sooner I care more about having functional holograms.

If only we could move virtual 3D avatars with the brain without actually moving, VR helmet, and Holophonic sound... it can pretty much solve alot of problems although risks are always a concern.

DVS BSTrD:

Ralen-Sharr:
couldn't you actually touch the stuff in a holodeck?
we can't do that....

To do that They're gunna need different Sheldon.
image

Can't tell if that's a Bond villain or not.
Should be, though.

fuck holodecks when can i get my matrix/sword art olnine style imersion

You just know that when we make an actual holodeck where you can touch holograms, people will use it for sex 90% of the time. People use the internet for porn most of the time and all they do is touch themselves.

I'm not complaining though. I'd love a Scarlett Johansson hologram.

 

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