A group of students from the Interactive Media program at the University of Southern California (where thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen first developed Flow) are constructing a consumer version of the Holodeck—that is, the ultimate virtual reality system imagined in Star Trek and countless other science fiction series.
Or that’s the plan at least. At the moment, Project Holodeck consists of parts of other products—Sony Move cameras, Razer motion controllers, and the Oculus RIFT—a stereoscopic headmounted display demoed by id’s John Carmack at E3 last month. Oh, and a lot of duct tape.
The dream of virtual reality more or less died on the vine in the ’90s when developers realized it was impractical, around the same time we put flying cars to bed. Still, the elusive Holodeck makes an appearance in different forms every few years. So Project Holodeck isn’t a radically new concept—and adopting the name “Holodeck” is a bold move. Nevertheless, the project does focus on the affordability of current technology, and that’s what’s promising about it.