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Disney’s HoloTile Floor: One Step Closer to a Holodeck

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There’s a lot of groovy tech in Star Trek but when the Next Generation showed off the Holodeck, it went straight to the top for me.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard enters the Holodeck in Star Trek The Next Generation

I mean sure, Warp Drive, Replicators and Transporters are pretty cool, but in the Holodeck you can be anyone, be anywhere, do anything. The fictional device essentially uses holograms to render a realistic 3D environment.

Could this be the breakthrough we need for a real Holodeck?

The closest we have to that technology is Virtual Reality. But the big issue is walking around. In Star Trek, the Holodeck tricks you into thinking you are actually walking or running over short or long distances. There are VR treadmills, like the Omni One, but as you can see it’s bulky and you are tethered.

Omni One is shipping

Enter, Disney Research.

The HoloTile Floor removes tethering and it can accept multiple people at the same time. It’s experimental at this stage but it’s the best idea I’ve seen for motion in VR.

The HoloTile Floor can accept multiple users

Disney’s video is very exciting and it’s explained by Lanny Smoot. Lanny is the Disney Research Fellow and Imagineer behind the latest and most realistic lightsabers from Star Wars yet.

Disney’s HOLOTILE is explained by Lanny Smoot

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