Many hold Star Trek as an inspiration pool for future technologies. IDEO recently got a chance to sample a new 3D immersion technology from EON Reality that gets pretty close to the holodeck from the Next Generation series.
The iCube is a 10′x10′ room with three walls and a floor onto which a high-resolution stereoscopic image is projected onto each surface. The viewer wears polarized 3D glasses and can walk freely around the room to move through the virtual environment. The system tracks the viewers movement with markers on the glasses much like how motion capture is used to record body movements for video game characters.
The IDEO testers were impressed with the ease the viewer integrates with the system. There is no bulky headgear to wear or complicated handheld controllers to fumble with. Because the interface is based on movements of the body, there is no training necessary to use it. But like all things that seem like magic, it costs a lot. The estimated prices for all the gear used to put this system together is over half a million dollars.