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Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne predicted future: ‘Iron Man is Here’
Sanshey Biswas  23rd Aug 2014

Tony Stark and Jarvis interacting via augmented reality

lack Sabbath released the song Iron Man in 1970. The song spoke of a mythical man of iron who travels back in time to warn people of the apocalypse. On being shunned by the world, he turns evil. The Iron Man Robert Downey Junior plays in Marvel Studios' movies is widely loved because of the arrogance that he backs up with his technological prowess. Among the news of Captain America turning black and Thor becoming a woman, Iron Man is in queue to be reincarnated as Superior Iron Man, who might be hard to root for.

We love Iron Man or the idea of Tony Stark, a tech savvy playboy from Malibu, California. Movies and books have inspired a lot of technology-based entrepreneurs whether it is virtual reality, Internet or holographic displays. The interface Tony Stark uses in the Iron Man series  to interact with the digital world is enviable because of it's independence from additional input devices like the mouse and keyboard. Technology is most refined when it's least noticeable while getting a job done. Everyone seems to have recognised and accepted that the human hand is far more ideal than a stylus, for instance, as a controller and way to interact with our devices. 

Everyone seems to have recognised and accepted that the human hand is far more ideal than a stylus, for instance, as a controller and way to interact with our devices.

A US-based tech start-up, Thalmic, have created an Armband called Mayo that taps into the electrical impulses produced by muscles to interpret the gestures and movements of your hand and associate them with a command. You can wave your hand in mid-air to switch between tracks or make the devil's horns (\m/) with your hand to share something online. The company is now shipping out its Myo Developer Kit, which has been successfully tweaked to control video games, DJ software, drones and interact with VR (virtual reality) headsets. As of now, Myo interacts successfully with Windows, Android and Mac with support for iOS soon to be added. There is still the restriction of a two-dimensional screen that has no depth and a limited size to interact with.

Like Jarvis from Iron Man, space glasses give you a holographic display once you put them on. Space glasses from another US based start-up, Meta, create an environment with computer-mediated reality. The world we see is enriched with digital content floating about. Since everything is done via these glasses, they read your hands as the primary source of inputs via the inbuilt camera and create an augmented reality where your entire vision is the screen. The added gratuity is being able to pair these devices with computers as well as the phones.

While these devices are amazing at what they do, they still need an additional device for computations. Added to the dependency is the necessity for an additional device to carry around. The ultimate dream come true for any techie would be holographic displays whose source is completely discrete, with controls as simple as the gestures these devices use. Very soon, computers will become smaller than ever while being more powerful. And with projects like Leia displays or Holo by Conran making holographic displays more appealing, we could soon be living surrounded by technology that only Iron Man would otherwise have had access to.

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