We played around with Nvidia’s Holodeck software at CES 2018

While it’s not quite like what you’d find on the USS Enterprise, Nvidia showed off its Holodeck virtual reality experience at CES 2018.

Nvidia Senior Technical Marketing Analyst Joe Vivoli gave us a demo of the software at the Nvidia CES booth. Our first question was, naturally, just what is Holodeck? You won’t be loading up life-like environments to get lost in; instead, users will be able to engage in collaborative design while in VR. “The idea is you bring in a very complex model into virtual reality space,” Vivoli said. “You and your buddies get into your VR headsets, and you work together to do some design mockups on a very intricate model.”

These models can be anything from 3D models you’ve made, to CAD files directly from a manufacturer for super-fine detail. Holodeck currently supports 3Ds Max and Maya, two of the most popular 3D modeling programs.

The demo at the Nvidia booth featured the model of a Volkswagon bus that had been scanned into a 3D program, the loaded into Holodeck, which showed off just how finite you can get with the models. You will be able to get as finite as the literal nuts and bolts. This has the potential to make something like automotive design, which could be done with people across the world simultaneously through a virtual space.

Holodeck is exciting, but it is currently hard to get your hands on. VR programs are known for having high hardware requirements, but Holodeck is particularly resource-intensive. The software on display on the show floor was running on a PC equipped with a Titan XP graphics card, Nvidia’s most powerful GPU to date. You will at the very least need GTX 1080 Ti, which is the second most powerful graphics card currently made by Nvidia.

Holodeck is currently in open-beta early access. If you are curious, you can head over to Nvidia’s official Holodeck page and sign up to get access — just make sure you have the specs to run it first.

Be sure to check out the rest of our CES 2018 coverage for our news about VR.

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