Remember the holodeck from Star Trek? Stony Brook University is building something similar, thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Next year, a 40' by 30' virtual theater will be constructed within the school's Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, the university has announced.

Dubbed the "Reality Deck," the room will be tiled with screens with "more than a billion pixels that can provide a life-like, realistic immersion into the data to be explored and reasoned with," according to Dr. Arie E. Kaufman, director of the project and chief CEWIT scientist.

Once completed, the Reality Deck will allow detailed examination of medical scans from the university's hospital. It could also be used for analyzing climate and astronomical models, satellite imaging, and other data-intensive applications. Stony Brook lists several agencies that have already jumped aboard to participate, including NASA, the Department of Defense, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

On top of the medical potential Stony Brook touts, Kaufman says the technology "will probably revolutionize Hollywood."

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