Having been inspired by the recent Oculus project at E3, the Holodeck team are aiming to create a "VR video game" through "inexpensive headmounts" with body tracking and so on.
They already have their game lined up; Wild Skies. This VR title will be set aboard an airship. The team were spurred on by Oculus, which is backed by id's John Carmack.
"A few months before E3 and the creation of Oculus, Palmer and James Iliff and myself were attending the IEEE Virtual Reality conference in Orange County, CA," blogged Nathan Burba.
"It was here that the idea for Holodeck was born: a VR video game, inexpensive headmounts, body tracking, wind-based haptic feedback, binaural audio, smell systems, etc. Palmer also had one more great idea that day: have the game take place on an airship. Enter Wild Skies."
"The rest is history. Project Holodeck is now a huge project at USC with a bunch of talented people contributing. Oculus is getting ready for their Kickstarter debut and we’re getting ready to produce the world’s first co-operative full-body consumer facing Virtual Reality video game."
It's certainly an ambitious project - gamers have long dreamed of achieving that Star Trek standard of Holodeck.
"We see Project Holodeck as more of an arcade experience, because the space required is larger than the average space available in a consumer’s home. We plan on taking this to expos and festivals like Indiecade, Maker Faire, IGF, and others, as well as our own local showcases in Los Angeles like First Move, Demo Day, Other Worlds, etc." producer James Iliff told Road to Virtual Reality in an interview.
"We could potentially license our software platform if we wanted to, and we can put together kits with our own custom hardware, but in the long run we also want to reach home users with a simpler consumer system that can fit comfortably in the living room. We’ve been talking to several big names in the industry, including Microsoft and Disney Imagineering, and there’s a number of different directions we can go with it – all equally exciting!"
For an in-depth look at Project Holodeck check out Road to Virtual Reality's article.