One Step Closer To A Holodeck?
Every Star Trek TNG fan knows the fun to be had with a Holodeck. For the uninitiated, that’s an entire room dedicated to housing a programmable, completely realistic and fully interactive holographic virtual reality. This iconic science fiction favourite could soon be an actual reality.
Researchers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan have developed a unique way to create full-color holograms with the aid of surface plasmons. RIKEN scientists Satoshi Kawata and Miyu Ozaki recently published their amazing creation in science journal Physorg, and it’s looking like every gamer’s dream.
Holodecks are a bit impractical for most of us though, so how about a more obtainable holographic PC, laptop, tablet or phone? “This achievement will find applications in three-dimensional display devices in the future,” says Ozaki. “In the case of holograms generated using surface plasmons, white light alone serves as the incidental light, and beams can be applied from behind, so our system can be utilized in small devices such as smart phones.”
Clearly, the potential for gaming of all sorts is massive; from seductive RPGs and MMOs to butt-clenching fighting games and deep simulations. Don’t give up your conventional displays quite yet though; the system is still being perfected, “The system must be improved to allow larger objects to be imaged. In addition, the viewing angles for stereo images are now limited to about 25 degrees both vertically and laterally, so this range must be broadened.” says Ozaki. “However, these engineering problems can be solved using our system.”
An artist’s impression of a sexy Holodeck possibility: