If your futuristic dreams are populated by visions of the Star Trek Holodeck, then you might want to take a trip to good ol’ Stony Brook University. Gizmodo reports that researchers there have spent $2 million to construct a 360-degree, 1.5 gigapixel resolution display called the Reality Deck, and it’s everything Commander Riker ever wanted.
In addition to displaying high quality images, the Reality Deck has sensors built into it that can track you as you move around the room, adjusting the images on the screen accordingly. In this way, information and images are perfectly tailored for the best possible consumption experience.
The facility is designed to help scientists visualize the massive amounts of information in the present and future eras of Big Data—everything from massive image collections covering hundreds or thousand years of art history to creating a walk-through virtual colonoscopy based on the University Medical Center’s new 320-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner. Satellite imaging, climate modeling, astronomical applications, crime monitoring, and news analyses are all possible.
Even though “big data” is having a bit of a moment right now, we’re also excited for the more entertainment-driven implications inherent to a display of this magnitude. Imagine action movies, space documentaries and even Star Trek episodes projected onto the screen, responding to your every move. If you thought “Sonic Vision” at the Hayden Planetarium was cool, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.