Star Trek's holodeck gets closer to reality

IllumiRoom concept by Microsoft shows images via projections in gaming demo

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One of the best technologies in the TV show "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was the holodeck, in which characters could interact with computer-generated (holographic) characters in a 3D room.

At the time this was the stuff of science-fiction, but like other technologies inspired by Star Trek, we're getting closer to a holodeck-like experience in our own homes.

Witness this video from the Microsoft Research team, showing a proof-of-concept system called IllumiRoom. The IllumiRoom "augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualizations to enhance traditional gaming experiences."

While the video showcases the system with a living room's furniture, it's not that far of a stretch to see people using this system in a completely empty room, thereby expanding visuals even further than what's shown in the video. With additional projectors, how much more 3D could we get with this?

More details on the project are here. I wonder if they'll have a Sherlock Holmes scenario? Mr. Data, start working on that!

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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