The Star-Trek holodeck, Surrogates (movie), or Caprica (TV series) show plausible ways we will use VR. The holodeck supposedly used light to create the reality. But, characters sat on rocks and chairs that appeared in the holodeck. We have no idea how that might be done. (How close are we to having a holodeck?)
The rock in is supposedly one of the things the holodeck could materialize. The replicators that we see making food and parts for the ship would be related tech. They are very similar to the 3D-printers we are developing now. We are learning to print highly complex biological parts for medical applications now. Why they never replicated a new heart for Picard’s damaged one in Star trek was likely a limitation of the writers’ imagination or what they thought we might believe.
The movies Surrogates and Caprica used head mounted devices that provided sensory information directly to the brain. In both cases the actual user was ‘parked’ somewhere.
In Surrogates they use the common idea of sensory replacement to simulate a virtual world. Our current state is we can just now provide an immersive visual experience. We are a long way from being able to prove natural and intuitive interfaces for the user.
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