Thinking Tech

About time! Sony showcases a real-life holodeck

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A series of short films showcase a projection system that's the closest thing yet to an interactive holographic environment.

While sci-fi fans are pleased to know that there are folks out trying to figure out a way for us to someday soar past rush hour traffic in our very own Jetpack or surf around the neighborhood on a hoverboard, the next most logical question is... "Where's my Holodeck?!"

You can be rest assured, though, that it's in the works. Sony Europe, Studio Output and Marshmallow Laser Feast have teamed up to produce a series of short films to showcase a projection system that's the closest thing yet to an interactive holographic environment. This is done using a clever integration of the Playstation Move controllers, a Steadicam and Eyetoy cameras to properly adjust the angle of the background visuals in a seamless, continuous manner based on the movement of the camera. The technique is a more sophisticated form of "3D projection mapping," which utilizes special software to make a static object appear animated.

As you can see, the system can re-create scenes reminiscent of popular hit movies such as Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. But what's particularly impressive is that the shots in each of these films are all done in one take, meaning there's no clever editing or other slight of hand visual effects involved (just don't pay too much attention to the camouflaged actors).

Alright, so the technology is still a long way off the Star Trek version, which can easily get you in on a poker game with Mark Twain, but the future has to start somewhere.

(via ZDNet)

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure