Ever since the holodeck was first introduced in the pilot episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint’, I dreamed of one day having one of my own. Now that day has finally arrived, sort of, with the VIPE system.

Built by Northrop Grumman, one of the largest defense contractors in the world, the Virtual Immersive Portable Environment system, known as the VIPE System, uses Xbox Kinetics, huge wrap around screens, motion sensors and surround sound technologies to make soldiers feel they are really at war and proclaims an uncanny resemblance to the holodeck used in the ‘Star Trek’ TV show. Personally I could think of better uses for the technology but then again I don’t have billions of dollars invested in global conflict.

According to the company:

“Northrop Grumman is developing several virtual immersive training initiatives that are applicable to the USSOCOM Virtual Mission Rehearsal requirement and pre-mission training. “The “holodeck” provides a high fidelity visualization environment adaptable to any location and capable of being set up in an existing office, a simulation center, or even a tent. The VIPE “Holodeck” provides a low cost scalable and adaptable visualization simulation and training environment.”

The system could be used to familiarise soldiers with buildings for a mission, and to train police and firefighters in the kind of scenario they are likely to find themselves in. You may be wondering “why bother?” with VR systems becoming cheaper, more portable and offering much deeper realism. Well, aside from training programs, the technology has huge implications for the entertainment industry. The movie theatre of the future may very well look similar with motion tracking and real time feedback that lets the viewer become part of the cinematic experience.

To learn more about the VIPE system, check out the video below:

Source: The Daily Mail