Multi-user interactive 3D gaming experiences, no headset required.
I can still remember the first time I saw Star Wars: A New Hope; the genuine awe of seeing Princess Leiah send a holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi and wondering, “WOW! When will we be able to send messages like that!?”
Even more interesting was the scene in which Chewbacca and R2-D2 go head-to-head in a round of Dejarik, a.k.a. “Holochess.” Watching the massive Wookie smack the table in frustration as his virtual set pieces were devoured by other holographic monsters is something I’ll never forget.
Thanks to the efforts of Australian-based star-up Voxon, a futuristic technology from a galaxy far far away is now a reality with the development of Voxon VX1 3D volumetric arcade machine.
In recent years, we’ve seen holographic technology begin to make its way into mainstream media, such as the holographic Tupac performance featured during Coachella 2012. What people may not know, however, is that this holographic performance was a 2D reflection, a simple illusion technique featured in theatre and amusement parks like Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion or the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios Florida that originated all the way back in 1862.
Unlike these simplistic 2D illusions, Voxon’s 3D Volumetric technology features as 3D Volumetric display; the images are 3D printed slices of light stacked in layers, similar to the pattern used in brick building layers or in games such as Minecraft. As the layers are built and projected so are the full 3D images and animations; no headset, special glasses or other wearables are needed. People can gather around the VX1 to visualize, communicate, learn, and play via a shared 3D holographic experience.
Voxon currently has two products available; the Voxon VX1, an advanced 3D volumetric display; and the Voxon Z3D, labeled as the world’s first holographic arcade machine.
VOXON VX1 HOLOGRAPHIC DISPLAY
The Voxon VX1 holographic display allows users to view 3D objects and animations from all angles. Experience Star Wars-like holographic communications and see who you are speaking to as a hologram, learn in new ways with real-time manipulation of 3D visuals across mathematics, science, health, design, geography, space, engineering, and more.
The VX1 comes with a cupcake-sized, third-party 6-access controller to help navigate various content and manipulate volumetric images. The VX1 is also compatible with Xbox controllers, Leap Motion, and hands-free gesture camera options; it’s like using the force to interact with your favorite holograms.
VOXON Z3D ARCADE MACHINE
In addition to bringing Star Wars-like communications and visuals to life, Voxon has also created new ways to play and game on with the Voxon Z3D.
Advertised as the world’s first holographic arcade machine, the Z3D features all of the functionality of the Voxon VX1 with the addition of a removable arcade tabletop and custom made games with a 360-degree viewing experience. The Z3D offers up a suite of ready-made games including Snaketron Z, Super Turrets, and Balls For Dinner (Again) with support for up to four players at a time. Z3D is built on a multi-game platform, allowing developers to load new games remotely as well as generate their own custom game experiences. Gamers, developers, and hologram-lovers will need to move fast, however, as the Z3D is a limited edition experience. Currently, only 500 units are scheduled for production.
Will Tamblyn, Voxon Photonics CEO and Co-Founder, said, “We knew we had a real wow factor product in the VX1 volumetric display, but when combining this with the social aspect of multiplayer gaming and the retro-futuristic arcade form factor, the Z3D now allows us to deliver a whole new dimension in gaming.”
“It’s inspiring and exhilarating to create something new, to do what others thought couldn’t be done. This is just the start of our journey with volumetric display technology, but making a 3D holographic arcade machine, is a fun way to start sharing it with the world.”
Looking ahead, Voxon hopes to us their technology to help make the technology featured in Star Wars a reality. The company is currently working towards developing a working Dejarik table in the hopes of installing it within the Millennium Falcon at Disney Parks Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. According to Voxon in an interview with CNET, preliminary discussions have taken place and several prototypes have already been developed. Just be sure to always remember the golden rule of Holochess: let the Wookie win!
We look forward to what the future holds in a galaxy not so far away with Voxon.
Feature Image Credit: Voxon