Star Trek’s Holodeck is the ultimate sci-fi concept in entertainment, a 3D visual environment so rich and detailed that transports its users into hyper-realistic, all-enveloping settings like a 1940s detective movie, a 19th-century sailing ship, and a Sherlock Holmes novel. While this type of ability counts among the fantastical imaginary technologes featured on the show, they could one day become reality. Holograms are not yet a total immersive experience, but the technology is improving all the time, with exciting new applications soon to come.
How it works
A hologram records a three-dimensional light field in a two-dimensional image. The principle was discovered by the physicist Dennis Gabor in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until after the invention of the laser in the 1960s that holograms became practical. These had a major drawback, though: they could only be viewed under special conditions using laser light.