Project Holodeck seeks to give us sf fans what we have been longing for since we first saw it in 1987 on Star Trek: The Next Generation - a holographic environment simulator (or "holodeck") for our own!
(project Holodeck video)
Project Holodeck is an Advanced Games project at USCís Interactive Media Division at the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as the Gamepipe Laboratory at the Viterbi School of Engineering. We are creating the first consumer-facing VR play space, as close the the proverbial ďholodeckĒ as is technologically possible today, all with inexpensive hardware and creatively integrated peripherals at a huge fraction of the price of industrial VR systems.
...Most true VR companies, whether involving head-mounted displays, CAVE projector systems, or haptic feedback, tend to focus on industrial contracts as opposed to consumer usability. As a result most of the tech just isnít built for the games industry. On the other hand, some companies like Sony and Vuzix are creating consumer HMDs, but they are fundamentally lacking in key elements that make a true VR experience, such as head-tracking and wide FOV. Thus they fall drastically short of expectations, and offer no additional value to current videogames.
Project Holodeck challenges these conventions. In conjunction with the Oculus RIFT, which supplies orientational tracking of the playerís POV in a wide field-of-view display, we are developing custom software that networks four Kinects and other peripherals to allow players to experience full-body positional tracking in a VR play space of variable size. We are also experimenting with the Razer Hydra, Playstation Move, and similar custom hardware as viable alternatives to the Kinect for positional / orientational tracking of the userís head and body.