From a pleading princess Leia to entire planetary simulations on Star Trek, we've always been more than a little obsessed with holograms.
But our dreams of a personal holodeck (along with printers that actually work) have yet to be fulfilled, so we've decided to speed things up a bit by rounding up a bunch of kit that could make your own personal holodeck a reality.
A US-based company called Provision has been churning out 3D holographic displays over the past ten years, but now it's ready to move onto the next step – life-sized 3D holograms that require no glasses or bulky headgear whatsoever.
It's looking for a hefty US$950,000 dollars on Kickstarter to create a platform capable of projecting a 6ft tall holographic person 7ft away from a screen, and they're hoping to eventually cram all that tech into a projector no bigger than a toaster before entering the console market. Drool.
Xbox Illumiroom and Kinect
So you've got your 6ft tall hologram of your favourite celebrity or cartoon character and now you want to, oh, I don't know, go skiing with them. Unfortunately for you, your living room doesn't quite have the same feel as a black run on the Alps.
Enter Xbox Illumiroom, Microsoft's next-gen console concept which smashes down the barriers between your telly and your living room by using a projector to paint a virtual world around you.
Combine it with Microsoft's higher-resolution new Kinect for voice commands (and its ability to scan your room to ensure projections line up properly with your furniture) and you've got the ultimate gaming experience – and all without having to trek up a mountain.
More after the break...
"Hang on a moment" we hear you cry. "What about movement"?
What a good question. Prancing around a virtual field is all very well – until you stub your toe against the corner of the coffee table.
That's why you'll need something like the Omni – an omnidirectional treadmill that keeps you in one safe spot while simulating running, walking and crouching thanks to its groove-filled non-friction surface and corresponding special footwear.
Aireal and Leapmotion
So we've got our virtual world and holograms all set up. But we want to interact with them too – and we're not just talking about motion control either. We want to feel.
Disney Research's Aireal technology uses compressed rings of air that can travel fairly large distances to provide a sense of tangible feedback without the use of cumbersome gloves/suits.
Imagine reaching out to touch a virtual flower and feeling a puff of air that's perfectly times to coincide with your finger reaching out to touch it.
Coupled with a device like Leap Motion which can let you manipulate holograms with 3D gestures, your ultimate personal holodeck will be complete.
Just don't forget to step outside into the real world every now and again. You have to eat, after all.