The Oculus Rift is so close to making our Star Trek holodeck dreams a reality. The only catch is that since you’re tethered with cables, you’re not really free to physically walk around while wearing it. So far the solutions to this problem have been less than impressive, but the Infinadeck — a treadmill that lets you walk in any direction — might just be the perfect solution.
Using brute force engineering, the Infinadeck features a series of thin, parallel treadmills all connected to create a continuous belt that itself spins in a perpendicular direction. The speed of each of these treadmills can be individually controlled, and the sum total of the effect is that you can walk in any direction, at almost any speed, without ever walking off the platform.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen an approach like this to creating an infinite treadmill, but the Infinadeck appears to be a more compact, self-contained unit. And while the current version still requires an operator to manually adjust the speed and directions of the belt, its creators are working to make the platform even more compact, with built-in motion and tracking sensors so that someone wearing an Oculus Rift headset lost in a virtual world never has to worry about accidentally stepping off the edge. [YouTube via Engadget]