Patently Insane

Microsoft Has Patented What’s Basically a Holodeck

Immersive gaming: engage!
 Microsoft Has Patented Whats Basically a Holodeck

Let’s get freaky. (Photo: Rikomatic)

Sometimes when you can’t make the trip to Risa, you might feel the need to recreate the pleasure planet in a fully-immersive alternate reality. Who wouldn’t? Ars Technica reports that Microsoft filed a patent last year for a “Holodeck-style, full room immersive display.” Score one for the Star Trek nerds.

The patent, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the Xbox 360′s Kinect add-on, which allows for virtual reality-like game play where users can interact with elements on the TV by moving around in their own physical environment. Microsoft’s patent would allow users to do this, but in a literal 360-degree field, meaning that even the walls, floor and ceiling would become part of the game.

According to Ars, the patent:

describes a standard video game system with a connected “environmental display” capable of projecting a panoramic image that “appears to surround the user.”

Such a projector wouldn’t replace the central TV display used in current consoles, but it would provide a “peripheral image” that would “serve as an extension” of that primary display. The purpose, of course, is to extend the gaming environment outside of the TV screen, so a player could, for instance, “turn around and observe an enemy sneaking up from behind.”

Imagine traveling to far-off countries or ancient times in a Holodeck-type space, so immersive that it feels like you’re actually in another place. Not to mention all the weird sex stuff that could happen in there, Star Trek style. Ooh, Riker likey.

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