At NYU we are making great progress on our “shared Holodeck” — a virtual reality space where you can walk around freely, with no wires attached. The ability to use your own two feet to explore an alternate world makes a big difference.
My colleague Atley pointed out recently that one interesting quality of such an experience is how you feel when you come out of it, after you are back in the real world. As you look around the world, you feel a sense of expanded horizons, a feeling that anything is possible.
Since she made this observation, a number of people have reported something similar. Once you have have the experience of drawing a picture in mid-air and then walking around it, your mind accepts this as perfectly reasonable. And it seems to you that this reasonable experience should always be possible.
And sometime soon it will be.