Star Trek tech No. 8: Holodecks
Who doesn't want a holodeck in his rumpus room? Later this year, Microsoft Research plans to unveil a proof-of-concept holodeck called the IllumiRoom (pictured, or at least an artistic PR rendition of the concept), which uses the Xbox Kinect and multiple projectors to combine physical and virtual worlds. Students at USC are building their own holodeck around a Sony PlayStation, though it still requires a dorky VR headset. Even NASA confessed its holodeck fantasies at a game developers conference last March. Soon you too may have your own virtual 3D world to escape to -- provided you can persuade Riker to give it up for a few minutes.