Columbus, NE- During the annual middle school science fair Caleb Sorensen would enter a project that will set your senses to stun. He was lucky enough to have received an Oculus Rift developers kit from his uncle who works at Nintendo. He hypothesized that a VR headset could recreate the Holodeck from Star Trek. With the help of a few peripherals, he would go on to win the science fair, with a twist.
“It was super easy! I called up a couple of companies and they really wanted help me with my project.” – Caleb
As Caleb explained to The Kohlrabi his idea begun when he was experimenting with his VR headset. While the VR was fun, he felt as if something was missing. “It was as if I was playing video games in black and white. Ya know, without sound.” Said Caleb. He would continue, “It never crossed my mind that I could build something for Oculus. My science teacher suggested I should build a Star Trek thingie for the science fair with my Oculus. He was my number one inspiration and kept me encouraged me to pursue the idea.”
“The kid wouldn’t shut up about Oculus this and Star Trek that.” said Mr. Charlie Parker, Caleb’s Science Teacher. Mr. Parker continued, “Caleb was talking one day in the middle of class to one of his friends about holodeck what not and I had enough. I asked him ironically if he wanted to make the Holodeck as his science project.”
“After Mr. Parker gave me a great pep talk, I went straight to work.” Said Caleb. He Continued, “My hypothesis was to prove that a holodeck could be built with modern technology.”
While testing his hypothesis, Caleb tried his best with current technology to prove the theory correct. However, he discovered he wouldn’t be able to recreate a true holodeck with holograms as seen on the television and movie series. He pivoted his idea into being an immersive sensory experience, or a reverse Holodeck. Rather than being immersed in a world of photons and forcefields, you will fuze yourself with technology to provide you the sensory effect.
While searching for a Flappy Bird alternative, he found a demo to experience what it’d be like to be the Flappy Bird. The demo he found, would require the Birdly device. Intrigued, Caleb would also find a couple of VR suits that would be compatible with Oculus hardware, the Prio-VR and ARAIG. Which then led Caleb to stumble upon the Omni treadmill. For Caleb, everything was coming together so nicely. It was only a matter of contacting the companies and explaining what he was attempting to do. Caleb set up Skype meetings with the companies, told them his story, and they were immediately on board.
Caleb continued to explain to The Kohlrabi, that he wrote software to simulate the Holodeck from the Enterprise from Star Trek the Next Generation. With the combined use of VR suits, the Birdly thing, Omni treadmill, and the Oculus software he wrote, the user would really feel and believe they were in the Holodeck of the Star Trek Enterprise. The judges at the Columbus Middle School science fair would be so astonished they awarded him first place prize.