Star Trek interactive installation reveals how close reality has come to sci-fi

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise and to celebrate, an interactive mobile museum documenting the science fiction property's legacy is set to debut in New York.

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Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Experience will feature full-scale replicas of the interior of the fictional starship Enterprise, including the bridge, allowing visitors to sit in the famed captain's chair, the transporter deck and even the medical quarters.

The installation, designed by Austria-based EMS Entertainment, will be on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and will also feature real world technologies such as Leap Motion, the wireless gesture interface system. 

In addition to gesture interface, visitors will also get to sample a voice-activated display (a concept pioneered by the '60s TV series), a simulation of the fictional medical Tricorder using an RFID sensor-enabled table, a phaser shooting game and even, yes, holographic displays. 

Not all of the imagined tech and science from the series is made real in the exhibit, but the tech embedded in the installation is an encouraging reminder that our current reality isn't far off from what Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry imagined for the 23rd century. 

Spanning 12,000 square feet at New York's Pier 86, in addition to the "Tech Trek" installation, visitors will also be treated to a 60-minute tour of the exhibit outlining much of the fictional history of The Federation, its starships and the greater Star Trek universe.

Although this will be the first U.S. stop for the installation, the very first debut of the exhibit occurred last month in Canada at Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. While there, the museum created a series of promotional Star Trek videos and even an informal sample (see video above) of what the installation experience is like.

The New York version of the installation will run from July 9 until Oct. 31.

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