Technology 3 min read

Star Trek Inspires the Nvidia Holodeck, a VR Wonder

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Nvidia has demoed its latest project, a Star Trek-inspired Holodeck, which allows sharing and collaborating on VR content with unparalleled graphic fidelity.

Launched on May 17th, Sony’s new game Farpoint pumps new blood into the VR gaming market that seems to be losing momentum. With its dizzying special effects, animations, and scenery, Farpoint boasts an atmosphere worthy of a science fiction blockbuster, what is more, accentuated by a majestic adaptive soundtrack.

Thanks to Nvidia, Star Trek's Holodeck is a reality.Click To Tweet

Our own Krista Grace Morris interviewed Farpoint composer Stephen Cox here, who talks about Farpoint’s VR experience in relation to the Star Trek Enterprise D Holodeck.

Outside of the VR gaming world, however, Nvidia is looking to make VR more appealing and useful for everyone.

Nvidia Holodeck: Sharable and Collaborative VR

Nvidia, which developed GPU technology back in 1999, is perhaps the best-placed to bring graphical fidelity to VR. During his keynote at Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, GTC 2017, held between May 7 and 11 in San Jose, CA, CEO and founder Jensen Huang unveiled the new VR app, named after Star Trek’s Holodeck.

The Nvidia Holodeck is a platform to load and collaborate on high-resolution VR content. It was built on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 and includes Nvidia GameWorks, VRWorks and DesignWorks.

Like in the film the Matrix where Morpheus and Neo enter the Construct, a program to load and run simulations indiscernible from reality, Nvidia showed off a demo of a virtual space where four robot-like avatars get handsy with a model of the Koenigsegg Regera.

How Nvidia’s Holodeck Might be Used

With Holodeck, designers, engineers, and creators can import photorealistic VR models that can be shared with colleagues and collaborate on them for faster and easier design decisions.

If you watch the video above, you’ll immediately realize the educational potential of being able to readily manipulate accurate and scale models of advanced machinery.

As a result, the Holodeck makes for an entertaining and educative space.

If you’re wondering how, just ask the creator.

“Everything obeys the laws of physics,” Huang said.

At the intersection between AI and VR, the Nvidia Holodeck provides the sense of real presence in a 3D environment integrating view, sound, and haptic sensations.

The Reverse Electrovibration (virtual contact) allows end users to perceive the contours and textures of objects. In the demo, the simulation is physically accurate that the avatars, including Christian von Koenigsegg himself, explored the car and one of them grabbed the steering wheel with their hands without going through it.

Nvidia wants Holodeck also to be a platform to train AI and robots in a virtual environment before putting them in real-world conditions.

Nvidia will release the first version of Holodeck to the public by next September 2017.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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