Remember Jeri Ellsworth? Well, she's back with something truly wonderful. This electronics wizard has developed a revolutionary system for augmented reality that lets you make something like Star Trek's holodeck inside your own room.
She has built some special glasses that take a video signal from your computer and project it as a 3D image out into your surroundings so that you and others in the room appear to be sharing the space with computer-generated objects. She's also built a wand to help you interact with them (though I believe this will become obsolete as computer-recognition of hand actions comes of age). Because you can walk around these objects and they can be viewed from any angle, the other people in the room see the same objects from the various angles that they all should too. You have 6 degrees of freedom (move-up-down, move-left-right, move-forward-back, turn-left-right, roll-left-right, pitch-down-up) in viewing the scene, just as you have in the real world.
A tabletop with a gameboard appearing to sit atop it, surrounded by a deep pit.
This early example required a dim room, but the newer version operates in a normally lit room.
And because the images are projected out into the space around you they are at natural distances instead of the unnatural infinite distance most systems use. It avoids the nausea of motion sickness which is the bane of many systems because it has extremely high accuracy (sub-millimeter) and very fast response so there is no perceptible lag and the movements reported by your inner-ear balance sense matches your vision perfectly.
She and Rick Johnson (the software guy) have started a Kickstarter project to fund it. I'm a backer, of course, though because of my poverty I'm unable to contribute much. I can hardly wait to get my hands on this technology! I want to make a holodeck. :D Yay!Here is some further info.
Jeri talking about the history and technical details of the project:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc2NQVQK69A
The Kickstarter page:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-and-vr-system
The home page for Technical Illusions the company they've started up to make this:http://technicalillusions.com/
"Tested" review of the CastAR featuring interviews with Jeri and Rick:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpmKq_qg3Tk