Beam me up: Mindgrub debuts virtual reality holodeck - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jun. 15, 2016 9:05 am

Beam me up: Mindgrub debuts virtual reality holodeck

The Mindgrub team is dabbling in virtual reality — both to improve office culture and meet client demand. This reporter gave it a try.
Reporter LeAnne Matlach tries out the new holodeck at Mindgrub.

Reporter LeAnne Matlach tries out the new holodeck at Mindgrub.

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Brown)

Past the doubles ping-pong tournament and the rock-climbing wall, Mindgrub employees can take a break from their day and try out being a chef or relax under the sea as whales and fish float by.

All it takes is a headset, some handheld controllers and, yes, your imagination in Mindgrub’s new Star Trek-inspired “Holodeck.” The agency is touting the holodeck, short for Holographic Environment Simulator, as the first in Baltimore.

This reporter slipped on the bulky headset and immersive headphones to try out a new reality and found herself in a chef’s kitchen preparing meals. The 360-degree experience makes you forget that you’re actually standing in a dark room instead of a colorful kitchen equipped with a floating computer barking orders at you to prepare food and clean up.

If calm ocean is more your thing than chaotic kitchen, the Mindgrub team easily flips a switch to transport users to an abandoned ship at the bottom of the sea. Schools of fish swim by and a whale floats past for a more passive experience compared to the activity-filled kitchen game.

Mindgrub’s Kelly Brown said virtual reality games and immersive experiences are great for company culture. The marketing manager for the agency said employees are welcome to take a break from their hectic day and relax in the holodeck.

But Brown added that developers also plan on using the VR setup as a learning tool. Mindgrub has already dabbled in virtual reality with a bike experience they demo’d at a fundraising event for the Ulman Cancer Fund.

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Mindgrub says it’s hoping to dive more into virtual reality for gaming, healthcare and educational purposes.

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