Star Trek tech we use today (almost)

For the past four decades, Star Trek has been influencing and predicting new gadgets and technologies. How close are we to Trek-inspired phasers, tricorders, and invisibility cloaks?

Star Trek: Holodeck vs. Today: Virtual Reality Headset

The holodeck, which debuted on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was an enclosed room that employed an exotic mix of 3D holographic images and force fields to create an immersive virtual-reality experience, including smells and sounds. The holodeck even posed an element of danger to participants, who could be injured or killed by virtual creations (such as holographic bullets) if someone turned off the unit's safety controls. Today’s cutting-edge VR is relatively primitive. For instance, one holodeck-style headset with attachments to the ears, mouth, and nose is designed to stimulate all five senses--but unless you're trying to frustrate paparazzi during a perp walk, do you really want to wear what looks like a large slice of metallic watermelon over your face?

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