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Could Ultrasonics Create a Star Trek Holodeck?

Star Trek fans, and even those with only a passing familiarity with the enduring science fiction series, are aware of the many amazing gadgets and technologies featured on the show. Many of these devices have actually become reality since appearing fictionally in the 1970’s. Examples include communicators (cell phones), hypospray injections (jet injectors), tractor beams (optical tweezers), and phasers (stun guns). There are, in fact, enough of these marvels to comprise an entire book on the subject.

The next sci-fi “treknology” that seems to be coming to fruition is the holodeck. UK-based company, Ultrahaptics has created a way to provide haptic feedback for holographic imagery by using ultrasonic technology.

The Star Trek Holodeck Image of the Star Trek Hollodeck

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The holodeck concept, as depicted in popular sci-fi films and television shows, involves the simulation of objects and people by a combination of matter, beams, and fields onto which holographic images are projected. The simulations appear to be solid to the touch. The matter, described as "holomatter", usually disintegrates when the virtual-reality program ends.

Holodecks were depicted in a number of ways on the Star Trek series. In simulating settings and significant events, endeavors in science, logistics, and law were portrayed. A diverse variety of settings and situations have been depicted on the holodeck, including the American Wild West, and the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard playing the role of Dixon Hill, a fictional 20th century detective.

Haptic Feedback for Holographic Imagery by Using Ultrasonic Technology

The system designed by Ultrahaptics can deliver different haptic feedback and virtually tactile shapes through ultrasonic waves by pulsing the feedback of the ultrasonic waves or altering their modulation frequency. Acoustic radiation pressure is the term used to describe the variation in pressure that creates virtual shapes and force sensations.

Image of the Haptic Interface

Credit: Image Courtesy of

On the company’s website, Ultrahaptics describes this new technology as “the magic of mid-air haptic feedback.” According to Ultrahaptics, ideal applications for this technology include:

  • Automotive Control Systems
  • Industrial, Medical, and Public Interfaces
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Smart Home Controls
  • Workspaces
  • VR/AR Entertainment and Gaming

Blackstone-NEY Ultrasonics

While holodeck technology may still be in development, the advantages of Blackstone-NEY ultrasonic parts cleaning equipment is documented and well-suited for a wide range of needs. If you are in need of a reliable parts cleaning solution, contact us to learn more about the advantages of Blackstone-NEY Ultrasonics.

In the meantime, ‘live long and prosper.’

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