Welcome to my 300th post. Yes, 300. My fingers ache just thinking about that.
If you've ever watched Star Trek on TV, not including the original series, you have heard of something called a holodeck. This is a virtual reality room where you can create and interact with anything, including realistic simulations of people. About 15 minutes ago, a VERY simple version of one just popped into my head. Why the need to write about it? It could be built with today's technology.
Imagine a room, painted white. Halfway between where the walls meet, up at the ceiling are Microsoft Kinects, one for each side. One each side of the Kinects are projectors, pointing at the opposite wall. The lights turn off as the projector start up. On each wall is the projection of a dojo. At the 'front' of the dojo is the sensei. He bows to you. This is a test of your skills. At his command, other trainees gather on all four sides of you. At the 'go', they start to attack you. Because of the Kinects, you can duck, block, punch, and kick your opponents. As long as you stay within a carefully marked portion of the room. The opponents can even circle around you and attack from multiple directions at once.
There are many more applications for a room like this. How about a 360 by 360 view of the stars, as they exist around the earth, without the earth of any of its light pollution in the way? I could enjoy a room like this for hours. Place a Dance Dance Revolution pad in the middle, and you an control direction for a basic adventure game based on the text versions. Want to explore a coral reef, having fish swim all around you? It's not the real thing, but it's closer than most people get.
This is one project I would enjoy working on. OR at least having someone working on it, with DIY instructions and open source simulations available to all.