Star Trek smart sliding doors are finally a reality

Sliding doors were probably pretty futuristic when they first arrived with their sensors that spot people and open. But they've got a long way to go until they're smart.

Current sliding doors are still nothing on the doors of Star Trek. These sci-fi doors never open by mistake or demand a wait if someone runs up to one. Now real world sliding doors are just as smart.

Developed at The University of Electro-Communications, a new sensor is smart enough to get rid of the delay associated with current sliding doors. The new doors are even able to open early if they spot someone running up to them, so the person never even has to slow down.

The secret to sci-fi doors in real life? A 3D laser scanner coupled with algorithms to track motion. The door can effectively 'see' a person and determine their speed of approach so opening is timed perfectly. And since it can tell which way a person is facing it will even keep doors shut as pedestrians pass by, unlike current electricity wasting sliding doors.

At the moment researchers estimate an added cost of around £600. But as more get used that cost will drop as manufacturing costs fall. Next on the Star Trek list, a holodeck please guys.

READ: Star Trek replicator could arrive in 12 months if theorised collider turns light into matter 



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