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back to article AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

Twenty-five years ago, Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced the holodeck, a chamber aboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D that could transform itself into any environment. In a decade or two, however, that sci-fi fantasy could be real. So said the general manager of AMD's global business units, Lisa Su, speaking at the …

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WTF?

IIRC, holodecks use a combination of forcefields, holographic projection and replicator technology.

I would suggest we are more than a few decades from achieving at least two of those technologies.

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More likely Tad Williams Otherland*

With special gloves or even an entire suit (for tactile ear plugs), 2 x projectors on to retina (with Body + head + eye tracking so "3D" works even with one eye closed) and optionally even a sensory deprivation tank I think it can be done today. It would SEEM like a Holodeck, but the other people need not even be at the same location.

A chamber you walk into wearing the appropriate "ordinary" clothes still seems fictional no matter how much CPU you have.

Like 2D display the Internet with GOOD fast broadband is enough if you have the local processing for your head set / gloves / boots / suit / tank. You want less than 50ms Latency and "mostly" it will seem realistic. If the Broadband connection is lost the models of the other people just "freeze".

Also unlike Holodeck but like "otherland" you can have a wide range of "body" and with high end tactile feedback suit and a tank it will FEEL like your body as well as look like it.

Unlike a holodeck we do pretty much have the technology for "Otherland" today. If we figure how to generate fake tactile an inner ear movement sensations with just a patch on your head, then the suit and mobile tank (needs to have 4 axis movement to fool your sense of balance) become obsolete.

[* Much prior art, e.g. John Brunner "The Sheep look up" (? hard to believe The Shockwave Rider is1975) , Nicolas van Pallandt "Anvil" and many more]

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Re: More likely Tad Williams Otherland*

In otherland the serious net users had their brains plugged in directly, even wirelessly for the expensive kit, which is probably a more practical way of getting a holodeck like experience. I think they've even had something similar in Star Trek calling it a poor mans holodeck.

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Much more likely to see the light of day as, at least initially and for the near-to-medium term, as a semi-interactive viewer. Visual and audio only - none of the olfactory or tactile nonsense.

If they could project in holographic 3D - rather than projecting 2x 2D images and using a parallax barrier to trick your brain - it'd be awesome for sporting events and the like. Imagine watching the FA Cup Final from your front room, but it feeling as if you're actually there. Being able to pan, zoom and tilt the camera to get the best view. Possibly to the extent that you could just have a continually moving view that follows the ball from a distance of ten feet?

It'd almost not be live, but a Hawkeye-type-system generated render in real-time, sort of a cross between a live video stream and an extremely highly-detailed game of FIFA - or whatever you happen to be watching.

Same for films as well really.

Anything more than that is a HUGE pipe dream though.

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I always saw holodeck technology being driven by the sex industry. If you really had a room that could simulate almost any scenario, what would you spend your time doing?

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Pint

Me? Worldbuilding, much more so than sex. Sex only has so much appeal, after all. Even if it's with a generated ideal of your perfect partner, what happens when you've blown your load for the tenth time in a day and your hormones are past satiated? For me, worldbuilding would be far more satisfying use of such a technology.

OTOH, I am 46 and maybe I'm just getting on a bit! ;)

Beer, because like sex it's socially expected that there's no such thing as too much of it...

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Holodeck != VR

The title suggested that AMD might be sitting on some breakthrough in;

Holography,

Matter Transportation (i.e Teleportation),

Matter Replication

Inertial Field Manipulation (with gravity or general field manipulation to allow for sky diving etc).

All these technologies were required for the Holodeck to work (it wasnt even a deck it was a room).

But no, they are promoting more processing power, I suggest that by the time we figure out one of the above technologies we will have more than enough compute power, computer power is the last thing we need to worry about here.

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The holodeck always confused me

As has been said earlier, 2 or 3 people, walking in opposite directions or, 1 person(s) entering the room and having to "search" for the other party always seemed a bit to much of a stretch, then I thought about how it could be done, since the "treadmill" effect allows you to walk indefinitely, after you take a few steps. the computer would then basically surround you in your own "holoworld" possibly only a couple of feet in diameter or even just your head/shoulders in order to keep the illusion in place, then it would feed you auditory/visual clues and keep you on the "treadmill" when you look behind you the other person you entered with is actually a computer generated recreation of them until they are within touching distance therefore no one really moves more than say 3 feet from one another ( the room was big and I assume had a limited capacity for people otherwise it would not work (they would all be touching while seeming far away which would be a major mindfreak) we will of course ignore the whole forcefield thing and the ability to actually project a localized image around a person without the use of some sort of screen or diffusing device, but it is seems quite more feasible, however I would imagine unless it projects an image to an outside person at the door it would look strange to see a few people standing around in a large room seemingly talking to themselves ( or other things) rather like an Ipod party or many of the mmorpgs you see a random character just standing there...

recently going to universal studios and seeing the new harry potter ride it was very well done, but after going on it a second time it was very easy to see the issues and tricks pulled, especially in the flying scenes, although that said I do not doubt we will at least be able to have some sort of individual immersion room in the not too distant future, matter replication, and multiple people in the same room however without some sort of AI to track eyes and head movements will bea bit further off then they are hinting at in my opinion

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No need for all that technology!

Arthur C. Clarke got it right in his book 3001: A Space Odyssey

Wear a full sense-replacement hat. It replaces all your senses with computer created ones.

So you think you're walking when you're not. It shows your brain what it wants to see. Touch and smell are just as simulated.

So you want to walk down a beach in Japan with your mates, then you just all put on one of these hats and you're there. You want your house redecorated? Just tell the hat what colour you want the walls to be...

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Oi! Science!

Now look, lads. You promised me Flying Cars before you promised me Holodecks. One thing at a time, eh?

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