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Sci-fi come true alert

File this one under 'amazing.' You know the holodeck in Star Trek: the Next Generation? The one where you couldn't just see the ultra-realistic holograms, you could touch them too?

The one where you could go on a ski-ing holiday, or jump back to a perfect recreation of a historic event, without travelling further than down the corridor?

The one which makes the iPhone 4's retina display seem really unimpressive?

Well buckle up, gang, because the future is on the way. Of course, the full holodeck experience is still decades away. But one crucial element is beginning to fall into place. A team of researchers in (of course) Japan have developed touchable holograms!

The technology uses 'ultrasonic waves', which sound like something made up by a team of sci-fi writers, to create the illusion of touch. And, amazingly, the motion tracking is done by two Wii remotes!

Ah, Mario, you've never seemed such a herald of the future. Next stop: the teleporter.

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