You remember Star Trek right? That feisty holodeck was the just about the coolest thing ever. Captain Picard got to pretend he was some kind of ornery professor. Data got to pretend he was Sherlock Holmes. Riker got to pretend he was a bearded doofus(wait.) Well, ever since that show aired it has long been the dream of game creators to bring that holographic wonderland to life. Earlier in the year, we reported on a virtual reality helmet called the Oculus Rift that was our closest attempt yet at that Roddenberry ideal. Now, thanks to even more technology, using that helmet has gotten even holodeck-ier.
Here is how the Rift works. You wear it and you are essentially in the game. When you move your head around in real life, your camera moves in the game. Everything looks and seems real. The only downside? You have to move using old-school inputs, a joystick or a keyboard. That kind of takes you out of the whole thing. Well, that may too be a thing of the past thanks to an omnidirectional treadmill called the Virtuix Omnix. You strap yourself in this techy treadmill, put on the Rift and not only does it feel like the game is real life, it moves like it is too. That’s right. Every step you take in the treadmill becomes a step you take in the game. Holodeck huzzah!
The bart part is this far out tech is working right now. A consumer model of the Oculus Rift will be available later in the year and developer’s kits can already be purchased. The Omnix is setting up a Kickstarter in May. We’ll let you know when it goes live. In the meantime, check out this video.