Forget Robert Downey Jr., forget the cars, the robot helpers, forget even the Iron Man suits in all their iteration, the star of every Iron Man movie to date has been that sweet holographic rig Stark has. While we still have a ways to go, the hand gesture manipulation of 3D CAD software is already here, thanks to Elon Musk.
No, that's not a type of deer pheromone spray, that's a guy, a multi-billionaire guy, who's been working on developing the first stages of that Iron Man tech. So far using the Leap Motion controller, here's been able to manipulate 3D objects on a PC with the use of hand gestures and then hook that up to a laser powered 3D printer, that is then able to create that object. Out of metal.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNqs_S-zEBY']
What he doesn't show in the video however, is whether the controls are exact enough to design with. The engine model he plays around with is incredibly intricate and it seems like you might need something steadier than a human hand (without tactile feedback) to create it in the first place.
Those headaches will be worked out in time I imagine, but if you're still waiting for the hologram part, we're getting there too. Enter HOLHO, a holographic generator currently going through the Kickstarter phase of its life.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L-s9vzqmt0′]
It's not quite Iron Man, but it's a step in the right direction.
KitGuru Says: Granted I think we'd all like an Iron Man suit, but until they can create mini-chest-sized arc reactors, we're not getting one any time soon. I'll settle for cool holograms in my house for now.