Thursday, January 4, 2018

Amazon files a patent to create a modern-day holodeck just like in Star Trek; 'blended reality mirror' will use light and projections to create virtual reality scenes.

A holodeck could become reality a lot sooner than when Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation first walked through the doors of one on the USS Enterprise D, with Amazon that has filed, and been granted, a patent for a "blended reality mirror".

Not just being able to superimpose virtual clothing on a user's reflection, the blended reality mirror would also be capable of placing someone in the middle of any projected virtual reality setting, using lights, projectors, mirrors and cameras to create a specific scene - just like the fantastic (and notoriously malfunctioning) holodeck technology from Star Trek.

"These visual displays can be used to alter scenes as perceived by users, for example, by adding objects to the scene that do not actually exist," says the Amazon patent filing.

Face-tracking sensors and sophisticated software will manage the virtual reality display so that users see a realistic blended picture from any angle.

Amazon's patent filing describes the mirror as partially-reflective and partially-transmissive, creating a blended image by scanning an environment to generate a virtual model.
Amazon wants to presumably use the technology created from the patent as a type of "fitting room" to help people try on various outfits and to sell more clothes, but there's obviously also other potential uses.

Speaking of Star Trek and holodecks, the second half of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery will resume this coming Sunday in America with the last 6 episodes that will be made available on Netflix for the rest of the world, with one a week, starting Monday.