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5Deck.com Holodeck Technology Summary

The book “How to Make a Holodeck” (a “Holodeck” is a complete reality simulator from the Star Trek TV series) describes several new techniques for creating volumetric 3D images (viewable from any angle with a different result, just like real life) that do not require the viewer to wear glasses or be in specific positions - the next step on if you like for the technologies that drive 3D TV without glasses. There are a number of videos that explain the concepts on the 5deck.com Youtube channel.

The basic concept can be seen by poking a hole in a piece of paper. If you look through that hole, you will see a single 2D image of the world. If you cover that hole with a dome that has a 2D picture of the world printed on it, you will not be able to tell the difference between the hole with the world behind it and the hole with the dome behind it. If you continue to poke holes in the paper and cover them with new domes/pictures, you will eventually recreate the entire environment behind the paper.

This basic concept is proven by GRAN LENS, a device created by the books author. Videos of the Holodeck device in action are available through the links at 5Deck.com. The book extends beyond the basic dome/picture concept by replacing the domes with dynamic fiberoptic cabling, curved mirror tunnels, and finally a single, thin layer of reversing mirror paraboloids. Each of these replacements could be used to make fully volumetric 3D movies (called “4D images” in the book, with the 4th dimension being time). The book also discusses possible manufacturing techniques for the more advanced concepts, techniques for creating volumetric movies of real life, and several means of simulating non-visual senses to create a more accurate representation of a Holodeck.

On a more general level, the book describes how ‘millions of images’ can be managed without stressing existing hardware and software technology. It describes a tiered, independent approach to power and data processing. That is, each 2D image is managed by one or more tiny stand-alone computers, then the same for each 3D image, and then for the whole 4D image. This allows for parallel processing on a level not that is otherwise necessary for standard television or 3D TV.

A componentized approach to each 4D display is also offered. Modern TV manufacturing is a delicate process, and a few dead pixels can make for a scrapped TV ($$$ down the drain). This trend cannot continue for massive televisions or entire rooms of displays (a la the Holodeck); so the book describes a seamless “Shard” or “Fragment” system. In this system, a basic frame of any shape can anchor numerous small Shard-like displays (of a single shape) into any larger shape. Then, if one part breaks, only that small Shard needs to be replaced. It’s actually surprising that no one has yet attempted this approach for larger home television sets (because who wants to replace their 110” screen when an inch of pixels die?).

The potential for the devices described this book are diverse. The basic “3V” (3-dimensional Visualization system) could be created by individuals and companies as saleable products. The “4V” (4-dimensional Visualization system) can be created in stages as an open cooperative effort. Such a non-competitive environment will allow for standardization as a planned effort rather than a retrospective one. TV may have thrived in a competitive environment, but that’s because it is only one point worth of information (the light that passes through the point where the camera is located). A “wall” of dynamically set light information is on a completely different level of complexity.

Overall, the book is for everyone. For those people who want to invent new things, they can patent specific derivations of the concepts. For those who don’t want anything to do with making new technology, having a basic understanding will still help the market grow in an intelligent way (most people still don’t understand exactly how 3D TV works). Consumers with more know-how are less easily tricked by gimmicks, and that results in better technology to satisfy their refined tastes. You could say that (at least in this case) competition advances the world, but cooperation improves it.

~Tysior Civ (“Change is Silver”)
Author of “How to Make a Holodeck”

Tysior Civ is a Mechanical Engineer with a degree from the University of Minnesota.  He lives in Eagan, MN with his wife, Jonelle Civ.  His long term interest in writing, inventing, and other creative endeavors led to UniliarT.com, which sells various products featuring original graphic designs and perspective illusions; and 5Deck.com, which sells the book "How to Make a Holodeck."