Alright folks, I'll forewarn you - I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. One of my favorite memories from that show was the Holodeck. For those unfamiliar with that it was a giant room you could walk into and it could create an entire 3D environment of your liking. Buildings, beaches, outer space - you name it you could have it made. The doors would close and you would enter a new world for you to explore and interact with. Well guess what - the future is NOW.
Last week I visited a company in Irvine, CA called EON Reality and they have essentially managed to create their own version of the Holodeck. Put on some glasses, step into a special cube shaped room and you are instantly in a different world. I kid you not I was able to walk up to objects and they appeared to be right in front of me. If you take the glasses off the stuff is back on the walls. The possibilities for Architectural design visualization are endless! Walk throughs for clients to see and sense the spacial relationships of the walls and furniture of their unit, demonstrate evacuation routes for buildings, etc. Besides all that, this technology is just plain jaw dropping! I can't tell you how amped up I am about this now! 3D holographic projection technology has hit a breakthrough finally.
Now check out a couple links to get a glimpse of this technology. I warn you though - its pretty hokey looking with just pictures. To actually understand this you really have to visit their facility and experience the technology firsthand. Its worth the trip! They have been at Autodesk University and Siggraph in the past so I would expect them to show again at the next events. If you are planning to go to either of those events stop by their booth!
In the following link, the cube that the guy is standing in is what I would call the Holodeck - they call it the EON ICUBE.
In the following link click on the demo link for EON Experience Virtual World to see a walk through of a condo. This is done in full 3D in their ICUBE. Or click the demo link EON ISphere to see what it would be like to fly through space and have asteriods fly at you (it really did look like they would hit me) or enter orbit around the sun.
All in all I still can't believe they've done what they have. It almost doesn't seem real - I'm going to have to go back there and do it again just to make sure it was real!