You know you are in the 21st century when you get to personally experience the Star Trek “holodeck”. Yes, Northrop Grumman, the developer of a giant “holodeck” gives us a glimpse into what the game consoles of the future will look like. Too bad, the US army has already called dibs on it.
This Virtual Immersive Portable Environment system commonly referred to as the Vipe Holodeck, makes soldiers feel they are really at war thanks to its huge screens. And weirdly enough, it does have a striking resemblance to the holodeck used in the Star Trek TV show.
The projectors above each part of the screen do most of the work. The system uses 360 projectors combined with gaming technology to give players a virtual environment. All the soldiers need is a pair of 3D glasses and voila! Let the training begin. Even if the soldiers are on opposite sides of the world. Because the entire system is online, and players from other holodecks can be placed in the virtual world as well.
And to make things even better, it also has a tracking system thanks to Microsoft’s Kinect gaming system. The players’ every move down to where the rifle is pointing is monitored while the speakers in the holodeck provide the sound effects so the virtual world appears as if it were real.
‘Northrop Grumman is developing several virtual immersive training initiatives that are applicable to the USSOCOM Virtual Mission Rehearsal requirement and pre-mission training,’ the firm said. ‘The holodeck provides a high fidelity visualization environment adaptable to any location and capable of being set up in an existing office, a simulation center, or even a tent.’
With this system, we could be looking into the future as it familiarises soldiers with their requirements for a mission, or taking it a step further, to train police and firefighters and other suck task force in the kind of scenario they are usually faced with on a daily basis, while reducing training time and cost..
The firm further stated, ‘The VIPE Holodeck provides a low cost scalable and adaptable visualization simulation and training environment.”
For state of the art gaming experience, the system is engineered to be able to provide multi-player visualization as well, besides its telepresence and simulation effects. For a more user friendly system, the developers confirmed that it can even be displayed on laptop/desktop screens besides running virtually using 3D goggles.
If the holodeck is commercialized, it’s safe to say that it might just be gamers’ heaven.