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Holodeck Communications Array

Jack Kessler

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Ok, got a question for you? We know that if you turn off the safe guards in a holodeck then bullets become real, cars can run you over and phasers can kill. Keeping that in mind, if all safe guards are turned off could you order up an emergency comms transmitter through the holodeck and actually transmit and receive a signal?

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I think it depends a lot on the design of the holodeck and the complexity of the program. Holodecks work by using replicators, force fields, hologram projectors, and other fancy treknobable devices to create the illusion of limitless space and things. They key thing to remember is they are still just a illusion. When a holodeck bullet is fired it's not really a bullet at all. Instead its just a projection of light to look like a bullet using crafty force fields and other projections to create the illusion of an object. When the safeties are off that "force field" bullet just happens to collide with a person creating a real wound. What the holodeck doesn't do however is create a brass casing, fill it with the correct amount of gunpowder, cap it with a slug, then ignite the powder to fire a projectile.


Now, where this gets interesting is when the programing of a holoprogram gets complicated. I don't think there's anything stopping a programmer from ordering the computer to actually create a bullet and a gun in the holodeck provided the replicator systems could create those materials. It's reasonable to believe that holodecks specially designed for engineering or scientific purposes (vice recreation) could have additional capabilities to really allow some in-depth replication of materials as engineers/scientists work on projects. For the laymay however it likely would be a massive undertaking to program a something to be more than an illusion to only find the program compatible with a limited range of hardware.


I'd equate it to a flight simulator game versus scientific CFD simulation software to test aerodynamics. The CFD requires some very powerful computer hardware to support the complex simulations, but it can produce incredibly accurate and realistic results. Whereas the game may still have a lot of complexity, but ultimately it relies on a lot of aerodynamic generalizations to mimic reality instead of trying to recreate it.


Ultimately my opinion is that it's possible but would require the right software mixed with the right hardware.


Would love to hear what other people's ideas are for it!


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I think I get what you are saying but the one TNG episode that throws this off for me is "The Nth Degree". This is the episode where Barclay encounters a probe and becomes super intelligent. During the episode he uses the holodeck to build a working interface with the ships computer and himself. If the only thing really on the holodeck are force fields and light projections then how does this device actually make neuro connections to his brain? I know writers take great leaps at technology in the show but I would think that if the holodeck could make that device for Barclay then a communications transmitter should not be as difficult. Now that to me is assuming that the holodeck maintains power, I do understand that loosing power would delete the program. 


I too would like to hear what others think and help expand my understanding of holo-technology. 

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I'm not sure where the holodeck safeties come in. But in one series me and another writer did I simmed a doctor on one space station on a holodeck where the program was the lab the other character was working in and he was in her lab via the EMH projector. Essentially an interactive video teleconference. All information would essentially be sent back and forth via subspace communication relays.

So, I'd say something like that could be done but interaction in the distant location may be limited. The Barclay example, to me, would be on the extreme and rare end of things since he was going though that transformation that was clearly beyond human or human technological knowledge of that time.

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