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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Iron Man Interface Becomes Virtual Reality

Iron Man Interface Becomes Virtual Reality

Imagine a world where we could interact with our digital spaces like Tony Stark in “Iron Man”.  We’d be able to move, manipulate, and translate objects with our hands and voice commands in a space outside the screen. While holographic technology in the home is still out of reach, Elon Musk seems to have cracked the case on full motion interfaces.

Elon Musk is an inventor who has his hands in a variety of different business ventures like NASA contracts, electric car company Tesla Motors, money distribution network PayPal, rocket and space vehicle design and manufacturing company SpaceX and a large scale futuristic transport initiative called Hyperloop. The man has made great strides to forward humanities reach toward the stars and towards each other in efficient and effective ways.

His latest unnamed project deals with how computer users interact with a 3-D space. In a video released September 5, 2013, Musk explains “Right now we interact with computers in a very unnatural, sort of 2-D way. And we try to create these 3-D objects using 2-D tools, it doesn’t feel natural, it doesn’t feel normal…” SpaceX is trying to fix that problem by using camera setups and multiple vision modes to capture the movement of our hands and translate that to different controls.

Much like the beginnings of Microsoft’s Kinect and Nintendo’s Wii motion controlled gaming platforms, the controls are rudimentary and need more depth to do much of the work required for complex modeling tasks. However, using this new technology in conjunction with a regular computer monitor, 3D projection with glasses, The Oculus Rift virtual reality console, and freestanding glass projection can allow for a new way to inspect objects, modify objects in a simple way, or simply find a new way to browse Facebook.

Motion controls have been around for a few years now in a very public way, but mainly for entertainment and gaming purposes. This bold new look at how we can use such technologies in fields like rocket engineering, product design, manufacturing and other similar areas is striking and brings about visions of the future.

We might not be able to save the world or be as cool as Iron Man, but maybe we can browse YouTube, Facebook and like he does. And we have Elon Musk, the real life Iron man and his team at SpaceX to think of it. Hopefully, he starts work on Jetpacks next.

Sean Burke