We've seen how he interprets people and things with his VISOR, but if the holodeck is all force-fields and holographic imaging, how does he interact in a similar way to other members?

What does the holodeck look like to Geordi LaForge using his VISOR?

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    There is probably at least one example for Geordi being as fooled by a hologram as anyone else. So that would imply that the holodeck is capable of reproducing the appearance from his point of view too. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:38
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    @ThePopMachine - Which episode was he fooled in?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:46
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    @ThePopMachine - Not sure of any he was "fooled" in, quite a few where he interacts (Identity Crisis, Booby Trap, etc) as normal, but that doesn't answer how he "sees" it.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:48
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    @Valorum: In "Future Imperfect" he wakes up and thinks he's Capt. Riker. /s Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 19:05
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    @ThePopMachine - You sure you're remembering the right episode? Future Imperfect was Riker being conned by a kid with simulation equipment. Geordi was extremely peripheral in that episode.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 19:15

3 Answers 3


Taking the novelisation for TNG: Descent into account, it would seem that Geordi isn't fooled by the holodeck one bit. He can choose to see the spectrum that will allow him to perceive them, but at the same time he also sees that they have neither true form nor true substance, describing the place as little better than a cartoon.

Geordi saw through the images as he did all holodeck images. No heartbeats, no heat generation, no pulse. The fabulous science here tried very hard to make these beings appear real, but Geordi, the Enterprise’s one blind crewman, could see right through them by using another science.
The holodeck should have been just that to him—hollow. Nothing here should ever have succeeded in fooling him, drawing him into the scenario.
But that had happened before. He’d come into this place where everything looked like a cartoon, and he’d allowed himself to be caught up in the people he met and the things he “saw.”
That’s how I know I’m more human than machine, he realized as he stared at the three people around the table, and as he sank tentatively into the dealer’s empty seat.

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    This seems to contradict the TV show a bit, because apparently the holodeck feels real enough for Geordi to fall in love with a woman simulated on the holodeck.
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 19:10
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    @Philipp - Same situation. He knew Leah Brahms was a holodeck creation, as he was the one that created her. You can fall in love with a fantasy much easier than the real thing.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 19:16
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    @Philipp - I don't believe he, for one moment didn't know that she was a real person.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 19:22
  • @JohnP - But, if the holodeck version of Leah was more like a cartoon to him than like seeing a real person, why was it so easy for him to treat the real Leah the same way he had the hologram? You'd think that fact that he couldn't see through her would be enough to ground him in the reality that the real one wasn't the holodeck version he'd fallen for.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 17:56
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    @RDFozz - Just possibly, he was in love with her mind? After all, she created his babies (The engines).
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 17:58

Let me attempt an answer using only canon (TV and movies) content.

Answer: Unclear, but holodecks are extremely high resolution. If LaForge can tell holograms from reality, it's because of the range frequencies of the radiation, not the holodeck resolution.


In "I, Borg", we have this exchange regarding Hugh:

CRUSHER: That's right. He's gotten every one. Eight out of eight. That blows the top right off the spatial-acuity percentiles.
LAFORGE: It's the prosthetic eye. It seems to be giving him very complex visual information.
CRUSHER: Like some kind of holographic imaging system.
LAFORGE: That could be helpful. Hugh, I'd like to take a closer look at your eyepiece. Is that okay?

In other words, Borg ocular prosthetics are technologically remarkable, even to LaForge, who knows a lot about ocular prosthetics (and a lot about a lot).

Yet, in Star Trek: First Contact, it is shown that Borg can be fooled by the holodeck when Picard and Lilly hide in the "Dixon Hill" simulation.

Hence, we can conclude that if LaForge can distinguish a holodeck simulation from reality, it must be due to differing abilities of his vs. Borg prosthetics. And given LaForge's comments, it appears it can't be due to basic perceptual ability like resolving capability, since that is apparently better or equal for Borg compared to himself.

  • Just because the Borg's holographic eyepiece is interesting to LaForge doesn't mean that it surpasses his own vision.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 16:31
  • He only finds it interesting because he is trying to find a weakness in the Borg, so its interesting because its a method of attack he didn't know about. It doesn't mean they can see anything other than the visual spectrum by default, just they can create holograms in from of their eyes that could be used as a point of attack
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 20:24

It could be that the holodeck can also generate information that syncs up with Geordi's visor, so that whatever happens there might appear realistic to him.

In fact, as he's essentially wearing a VR headset, that would be easier to do than it would be for people using fully functional eyes.

I assume Geordi isn't the only blind person using a visor, so this would be a valid feature to include.

  • If you have any evidence of this, then this would be an excellent answer. Without evidence it's just aimless guessing.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:42

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