If you've ever watched "Star Trek, " you may remember seeing the crew of the Starship Enterprise live out their fantasies in a room called the holodeck. The holodeck was a giant, holographic projection room that allowed the crew to touch and interact with projections as if they were in a big video game. Scientists today are developing a new communications technology that will allow you and your friends to interact inside a simulated environment even if you are thousands of miles apart.
Most of the basic components for this network are already in place to allow the development of tele-immersion. Tele-immersion is the scientific community's answer to the holodeck.
By combining cameras and Internet telephony, videoconferencing has allowed the real-time exchange of more information than ever without physically bringing each person into one central room. Tele-immersion takes videoconferencing to the next level. It will create a central, simulated environment that will allow everyone to come together in one virtual room, and no one will have to leave their physical location to do so.