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University of Southern California Launching “Zombies on the Holodeck” Virtual Experience

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Away from Microsoft’s undertaking to create interactive holographic experiences using its innovative Kinect system, a group of students at the University of Southern California are seeking to replicate realism in their own take on the Holodeck tech as seen in sci-fi show Star Trek.

To nerds there has never been a more desirable gaming platform than the 23rd century Holodeck as seen aboard the Starship Enterprise under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, but thanks to the budding boffins behind ‘Project Holodeck’ at USC the future seems that little bit closer.

Despite not yet projecting an entire environment onto the walls around us, the concept currently uses Oculus Rift wide vision virtual reality headsets to display the images and PlayStation Move sensors to track motion and interact with objects. The creators have even factored in peripheral vision and physical effects like wind, which could be developed on to create a fully walk through world – a Holodeck in our very own home.

As a first test of Project Holodeck’s capabilities the team has developed a survival horror program based on a zombie outbreak in a fictional 1940s Chicago, much like the setting used in many of the Star Trek Next Generation Holodeck episodes.

The story is an original one, with stylised and ‘noir’ visuals and the intention is to cast the player in a virtual movie experience which will instil an authentic feeling of disaster and dread. The game has been announced and the brrrraaaiinnss behind Project Holodeck are set to unleash a trailer and launch date for ‘Zombies on the Holodeck’ very soon!