Star Trek first officer William Riker steps into a simulated jungle on the USS Enterprise-D’s holodeck. Credit: Paramount Pictures/CBS Studios, via Memory alpha

 

How Do You Build a Holodeck?

by ELIZABETH HOWELL on MARCH 4, 2013

What would it be like to step in an ordinary room and feel a gentle, computer-generated jungle breeze, with trees swaying nearby that you could touch?

AMD, a micro processor manufacturer, is trying to figure that out. The company has been doing a conference circuit in recent weeks promoting its research in heterogeneous system architecture, which is essentially a method to bind parallel computing processes together for greater efficiency.

The “holy grail” of these efforts, according to AMD’s Phil Rogers, would be building something like the holodeck — the computer deck on Star Trek (notably in The Next Generation) where characters would play immersive games. They could dial up a mystery novel, for example, then find themselves in a seedy bar with virtual-yet-real-looking holograms in 1940s-style clothing.

Rogers, a corporate fellow at AMD, has spent years working in 3-D technologies. It’s only recently that the company felt comfortable enough to speculate about the holodeck, he says. Other entities are also working on holodeck-like technologies, such as Microsoft and Stony Brook University, so perhaps that helped.

AMD believes it could be only 10 to 15 years before a holodeck becomes real. What would it take to get there?

Read more: How Do You Build a Holodeck? — Universe Today.

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