A few days ago I stood on a real-life holodeck. Yes like the one in Star Trek. Go anywhere, be anyone.
And I did. And was. I stood on the surface of Mars. Sailed through the Asteroid Belt. Explored the surface of Pluto.
I stared in awe at the Aurora Australis and chilled on an isolated beach after surfing huge waves. The adrenaline was intense.
When I say I was on the holodeck, to be clear the holodeck was on my head, my face to be precise. Officially they're called vr goggles, and yes, they look silly. But to me it was a holodeck, or near-enough.
As a compulsive sucker for things geek, I am often disappointed by the ho-humness of recent technology. VR (or maybe AR but let's not get into that) coud be a game changer.
As an entertainment gadget it's good fun, but as a serious tool – say treatment for various disorders - it could be invaluable. There are already apps for meditation, learning languages, and you can meet family inside a virtual room, or perhaps business colleagues, there are so many possibilities.
I'm going to strap this device on my dad. "Relax dad," I'll say "I've found a great new way for you to watch all those old home movies and photos that you enjoy."
What I will do instead is accidentally load a horror app and roar with laughter when something goes "boo".
But seriously, in palliative and elder care, the possibilities are exciting. A cure for loneliness? Perhaps.
Virtual reality may only be at its early stages of evolution, but technology is feeling good again.
Back to the holodeck and a visit to the Louvre might be order, or watch news in 360 immersion.
Gate-crashed a certain wedding too at the weekend!
Times sure are changing.