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Elon Musk's New Hologram Project Invites 'Iron Man' Comparisons

samzenpus posted 1 year,2 days | from the mandarin-approved dept.

Technology 135

Nerval's Lobster writes "In the 'Iron Man' trilogy, billionaire inventor Tony Stark uses a gesture-controlled hologram to draft new designs of the titular armor, sending virtual parts flying around his lab with the flick of a wrist. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk—who is often compared to Stark by the tech press—is apparently creating the real-life equivalent of that fictional hologram system. 'We figured out how to design rocket parts just w hand movements through the air (seriously),' he Tweeted August 23. 'Now need a high frame rate holograph generator.' In a follow-up Tweet, he added: 'Will post video next week of designing a rocket part with hand gestures & then immediately printing it in titanium.' But Musk has no plans to actually make an Iron Man-inspired suit of armor. 'I am not going to make an IM suit,' he wrote on Twitter, 'however design by hand-manipulated hologram is actually useful.'"

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Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677651)

Elon is the new Trump.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (3, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677765)

he's way cooler than trump

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677927)

he's way cooler than trump

You might even say he trumps Trump.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679495)

No shit, Trump's just a realtor. Musk builds rockets, cool electric cars, and now holograms. What I want to know is how this "hologram generator" is going to work? You'd need a hell of a high resolution LCD screen lit by lasers.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44680457)

And Trump is even terrible at that! 3+ bankruptcies plus lost the use of his name in Vegas! LOL

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (3, Insightful)

orthancstone (665890) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677875)

Elon is the new Trump.

Except Elon is brilliant as opposed to a blowhard?

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (3, Informative)

ron_ivi (607351) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678115)

He's both brilliant and blowhard.
  • He had a lot of tension with his Paypal investors: http://gawker.com/227491/sequoia-erases-elon-musk [gawker.com] : "Musk was a charismatic chancer, backed by the venture capital firm, with an online bank which wasn't going anywhere. He was involved in Paypal only in so far as he managed to talk his way into a 50-50 merger with the successful online payments service, and served as CEO until his wayward management style provoked a staff revolt."
  • He had tensions with his wife(s): http://boycotttesla.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/the-problem-with-elon-musks-women/ [wordpress.com]
  • He had tensions with Tesla's founder: www.wired.com/autopia/2009/06/eberhard : "Teslaâ(TM)s Founder Sues Teslaâ(TM)s CEO"

Still brilliant - but (like many brilliant people) he can be quite the blowhard too.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

garcia (6573) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678173)

Sounds more like Jobs than Trump to me.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678509)

Well, he seems to have a bit of Jobs salesman in him too.

http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2013/08/hyperloop/ [leancrew.com]

"How, I wondered, is Musk going to solve the thermal expansion problem?

The answer turned out to be simple: he didn’t. There’s some hand waving and, possibly, a complete misunderstanding of how thermal expansion acts, but no actual solution."

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679903)

Of all of the challenges for a Hyperloop system I think "thermal expansion" is one of the least difficult. Simply putting a few inch expansion/contraction sleeve every few towers would probably suffice, "gaskets" are a 100 year old technology. The cars may have to be able to handle a 0-3" gap in an otherwise smooth pipe but that seems trivial, an inner 1/4 inch tapered steel sleeve in addition to the outer slip sleeve may also be a possibility.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680265)

A 3" gap might cause a car traveling at 700mph to have ... a few ... issues.

Especially if anything gets through that gap from the outside. Or changes the airflow around the car.

I don't think having something like that which needs to be checked & cleared regularly would be a solution to the problem.

Regardless, it's an example of the lack of engineering detail that was put into the paper.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

tyrione (134248) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679025)

Brilliant my ass. He's just a well-schooled salesman who paints himself the next Steve Jobs. Technologically inept to know 99% of the crap he's shoveling is the equivalent of The Jetsons and 1% smart enough to hire talent to tell him that 99% is bull shit, but that 1% can be feasible.

My old boss, Steven P. Jobs, would never pull the asinine stunts this guy continues to rack up. You under sell and over deliver. This guy pictures himself Kurzweill as a visionary salesman. He's attempting to create his own RDF without ever having the charisma to generate one. The Tesla is a hot commodity, for now. He isn't pragmatic. He's not schrewd enough to realize his tepid steps into the waters of business are just temporary, unless he can make a firm footing for those charging stations nation-wide. If not, the Tesla will be known as the biggest electric car bust in history. He needs to focus on a few ideas, refine them and grow them. Instead, he's PT Barnum and that will bring him down.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679441)

Instead, he's PT Barnum

Are you suggesting PT Barnum wasn't brilliant?

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

osu-neko (2604) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679473)

Brilliant my ass. He's just a well-schooled salesman who paints himself the next Steve Jobs. Technologically inept to know 99% of the crap he's shoveling is the equivalent of The Jetsons and 1% smart enough to hire talent to tell him that 99% is bull shit, but that 1% can be feasible.

He's no Steve Jobs, true. That aside, there are millions of well-schooled salesmen, and at least thousands of them smart enough to know they need to hire talented people. But most of them you've never heard of, and will never hear of, unlike Elon Musk. So there's more to it than just that...

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (2)

St.Creed (853824) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680303)

He's not schrewd enough to realize his tepid steps into the waters of business are just temporary, unless he can make a firm footing for those charging stations nation-wide.

Unlike everyone else who looks at the problem and sees that this is a big issue. But this guy must be stupid. After all, what did *he* ever do while you were making smart slashdot posts? We all know what effort goes into a good snide remark on slashdot!

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

orthancstone (665890) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680761)

The Tesla is a hot commodity, for now.

I bet the same has been said about numerous luxury car manufacturers, and the latest numbers [allthingsd.com] say he's outselling them. Those other manufacturers have managed to stick around for a while, what makes you think Tesla's on the way out?

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679071)

I'm sure that someone who manages to run not one, but two game-changing companies while already having succeeded with another one is both brilliant and a blowhard. However, I think that linking to a site that posts drivel like this (you have to read it to believe it....) http://boycotttesla.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/tesla-and-fisker-use-vaginal-orifice-to-trick-rich-guys-into-buying-cars/ [wordpress.com] and to gawker, which is the equivalent of a tabloid for tech, makes you sound like someone who believes that Aliens are replacing the president with a monkey-boy so that they can destroy the US through Universal Healthcare. I.e., a total crackpot.

Musk should send that guy a thank you gift. (1)

denzacar (181829) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680469)

Like a fruit basket or something.
He's like a crazy ass poster child for detractors of Musk's every move.
You can't buy that with money.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678009)

More like Cave Johnson.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678463)

Well, if life gives you lemons...

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (2)

Salgak1 (20136) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678647)

When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!

- Cave Johnson

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678087)

Comparing him to trump should be considered an insult.

Re:Can't wait to enroll in Musk University (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44680253)

When will the powers that be start getting scared and take him out? Hopefully he has a healthy dose of paranoia to be security conscious.

Bah! (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677673)

It's all just hand-waving and smoke & mirrors.

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677689)

Will it be useful for designing better sex toys?

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677777)

how could it not be

Re:How about (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678013)

Given the track record of popularizing the CD-ROM and e-commerce by the Pr0n industry, OF COURSE it's going to have sex toy / pR0n applications early on. . .

Where no man has gone before... (1)

denzacar (181829) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680497)

Obligatory Penny Arcade reference. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:How about (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678291)

Rule 34

Get Some Sleep, Elon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677697)

I'm not sure what this guy is on but *that's* what he should be marketing and selling to the masses.

He seems to be on the 'visionary' trail. Not sure if it's a lot of hype or he's actually going to change the world in any significant way. Only time will tell.

Re:Get Some Sleep, Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677855)

I'm not sure what this guy is on but *that's* what he should be marketing and selling to the masses.

I think it's safe to say that Elon Musk doesn't need your advice on how to get rich.

Re:Get Some Sleep, Elon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44677883)

I think the OP was commenting on what the masses want/need, not what Musk needs to do to get rich.

Re:Get Some Sleep, Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678073)

Yeah, "luck" isn't something you can teach.

Jurassic Park (2)

jgtg32a (1173373) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677791)

Just get an Oculus Rift and you've got the VR setup they used in Jurassic Park. Almost as good but a whole lot cheaper.

Those who do not study the past (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677819)

It won't work. When you hold your hand out from your body for an extended period of time, your arm gets tired and begins to droop. This is known as "gorilla arm syndrome" and is used as a textbook example of what not to do when designing user interfaces.

However, it looks so cool, ignoring the fact that the first priority of any user interface is usability. Well, any user interface that you use for any length of time. It's sad that movies so pervade the modern consciousness that people can't see outside their blinders.

Re:Those who do not study the past (2)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677903)

I thought the same thing. My phone can already tell what I'm looking at. Wouldn't it make more sense to expand that technology? You may still need a button interface to distinguish something you're looking at and something you want to click on, but at least then you open up computer access to more accessibility-challenged people than hand waving.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678045)

Elon Musk: inb4 >ITT gesture based UI is dumb lol

Re:Those who do not study the past (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678091)

Hold my hand out like barbers, and electricians, and mechanics, and cooks, and baseball players, and housewives, and bricklayers, and makeup artists, and painters, and a myriad of other professions have been doing throughout all of recorded history? It's obviously possible to use your arms all day long, so clearly the UI designers are not designing touchscreen/gesture interfaces properly.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

tyrione (134248) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679041)

Hold my hand out like barbers, and electricians, and mechanics, and cooks, and baseball players, and housewives, and bricklayers, and makeup artists, and painters, and a myriad of other professions have been doing throughout all of recorded history? It's obviously possible to use your arms all day long, so clearly the UI designers are not designing touchscreen/gesture interfaces properly.

Agreed that the Gorilla Arm syndrome is being misstated regarding Human Factors.

not the same (2)

Chirs (87576) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679847)

In all those cases, your arms are not constantly out in front of you. Much of the time your arms are hanging down, or resting on something else. When they're not, they're often tucked in closer to the body which makes them easier to hold up.

The simplest solution to a 3D holographic interface is to plant your elbows on a surface to support the weight of your arm, and then move mostly your fingers with some hand movement.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680203)

Those jobs involve a lot of moving the arms around rather than holding them out in front of you. If the UI could be designed so that the hands were not just for pointing, but you actually had to pick things up, manipulate tools and so forth it might work. In that sense Tony Stark's system isn't too bad. The Minority Report UI was terrible though.

Re:Those who do not study the past (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678099)

It won't work. When you hold your hand out from your body for an extended period of time, your arm gets tired and begins to droop. This is known as "gorilla arm syndrome" and is used as a textbook example of what not to do when designing user interfaces.

Ballroom dancer here (yea, I know, used it to get some exercise and meet people outside a computer). By definition when dancing your hands are held up... and you can do it all day. It is perhaps hard in the very beginning, but you learn very quickly.

By the same logic, touch screens are a fail because my grandmother has difficulty bringing up the Android keyboard as she is not used to touch interfaces.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678423)

By the same logic, touch screens are a fail because my grandmother has difficulty bringing up the Android keyboard as she is not used to touch interfaces.

Yes. Touch screens are a lousy alternative to a real user interface.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678573)

Yes. Touch screens are a lousy alternative to a real user interface.

Well, that sure stopped everyone from making them.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678781)

Well, that sure stopped everyone from making them.

Hands up all those who went out and bought a touchscreen monitor for their PC?

Oh, I forgot, they can't put their hands up because they're suffering from gorilla arm.

I feel an rant coming on... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679443)

If I ever get my hands on that monkey's paw , you can goddamned well bet that my FIRST wish is going to be that every fool that ever bleated the phrase gorilla arm be granted a real, live gorilla arm in place of their preferred limb. Wait, no, maybe in ADDITION to.

Re:Those who do not study the past (4, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678101)

I don't understand why "gorilla arm" has become such an issue with touchscreens when teachers have been using chalkboards/markerboards for decades.

Moreover, I can see exactly where Mr. Musk is coming from. The new generation of 3d drafting programs is moving away from the monotonous "line, define length + angle, new line, define length + angle ad nauseam" into a more dynamic "stretch + mold"-type UI. The one that I've worked with is called SpaceClaim. The most common comment I've heard is "it's like shaping play-doh on a computer screen." The second-most common comment I've heard is "it would work so much better if I could just grab it instead of using annoying, ambiguous mouse clicks."

The Stark-style hologram thing really is the intuitive answer to people's issues with the new drafting paradigm. With Mr. Musk being at the forefront of modern engineering, I'm sure he's seen those issues, and I applaud him for taking the steps to solve them. If "gorilla arm" happens as a result, then maybe we as engineers should stop being pussies and get some stronger arms.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678339)

"I don't understand why "gorilla arm" has become such an issue with touchscreens when teachers have been using chalkboards/markerboards for decades."

It's because most Tech people are 50 pound weaklings that whine horribly if they have to carry a 15 or 17" laptop... OMG! it's sooo heavy... Must stop to rest... Anyone seen my inhaler?

Re:Those who do not study the past (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679491)

I don't understand why "gorilla arm" has become such an issue with touchscreens when teachers have been using chalkboards/markerboards for decades.

Speaking as someone who had to write on a whiteboard for several hours a day (I was a Teaching Assistant during grad school and had to regularly handle lectures, labs, and other sessions with students for several years), I feel as if you've neglected to consider the obvious fact that no one uses a whiteboard from arm's length, simply because it would lead to gorilla arm. In the end, I do agree with your premise that this is a direction we should be going. Even so, I'm still gonna talk about whiteboards and why your comparison is wrong. :P

So, when was the last time you saw anyone stand with their arm fully extended and write on a whiteboard? No one does that, or if they do, they stop after a few minutes because it's simply untenable. The way people write on whiteboards is by standing close to them and then bending their elbows so that their upper arm rests against the side of their body and their forearm is extended towards the board. If someone needs to write something to the side or down low, most of the time you'll see them reposition their entire body rather than extend their arm, and if they need to write above, they'll still position themselves so that their shoulder carries the weight.

Doing it that way solves the two major concerns with vertical surfaces: stamina and control. It allows the weight of the arm to be carried by the shoulder, rather than by the upper arm, making it a position that someone can work from for hours at a time. Second, it reduces the portion of the arm that is extended away from the body, thus minimizing the amount of undesirable wobble generated by your arm. Basically, it allows you to work for extended periods of time with a great deal of finesse. That's why people are able to use chalkboards and whiteboards for hours at a time while still remaining legible (we'll ignore that professor everyone had whose writing was inscrutable).

Unfortunately, if you're manipulating virtual objects in a three-dimensional space using your arms, you have nothing on which to support your arms, and, unlike a whiteboard, you can't rely on being able to put your arms at your side for support. Whether you're fit or fat, if you're having to hold your arms out in front of you without support for more than a few minutes, you won't be able to maintain the sort of fine control necessary to make careful adjustments for more than a few minutes. For instance, if you're having to grip a 3D object and stretch it into a shape you want without being able to release it, there's a clock running for how long you have before you arms start to wobble and create undesirable motion. Similarly, having someone control a virtual race car by turning a virtual steering wheel that's floating in a three-dimensional space would also be a bad idea, since most folks would only be able to go a few laps around the course before their arms would give.

That said, if you're making Tony Stark style motions where you're grabbing, manipulating, letting go, and then resting your arms in between, it'll work just fine. Same for Minority Report style stuff, since the interface simply doesn't rely on having your arms outstretched for extended periods of time. So, basically, I think you're spot-on correct that this needs to happen. Where I disagree is that I believe gorilla arms are still a problem that needs to be considered, but they're a design issue that can be designed around, rather than being a deal-breaker. Developers just need to consider the nature of the interactions that they're asking their users to make with the program, and ensure that none of them involve maintaining arm positions that can't be held for long.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

Greg Merchan (64308) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679791)

You've said what I was thinking when I read the quoted line. I think it is what Antipater was thinking too, so I figure the bit about stronger arms was in jest.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678119)

If I just held my hand out for an extended period I could see that effect. However, when I work I am not always having my hands on the mouse or keyboard. They move on off, they rest. What I would envision using this technology is people using gestures to "draw", "move", "shape" then rest as they look at the change. Sculpture artists certain have the arms/hands extended for long periods working art, painters also come to mind as people who use gestures to perform their craft and I don't sense they are effected by this gorilla arm issue.

I don't see Holographic programming coming to a cubicle near me any time soon, but the idea of designing something with one hands moving away from the body seems to have been a round a long time.

Re:Those who do not study the past (3)

theIsovist (1348209) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678195)

Can we please stop with the karma whoring that is "gorilla arm syndrome reminder"? Everyone keeps bringing this up every time a new interface is created, as if nothing new under the sun will ever work. If you want to fault this, you would probably do much better questioning the ability of a user to create refined designs on the level of rocket science with just his hands floating in mid air. There's nothing to press against, nothing to provide feedback. That would require very intricate control indeed.

Re:Those who do not study the past (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678213)

It won't work. When you hold your hand out from your body for an extended period of time, your arm gets tired and begins to droop. This is known as "gorilla arm syndrome" and is used as a textbook example of what not to do when designing user interfaces.

However, it looks so cool, ignoring the fact that the first priority of any user interface is usability. Well, any user interface that you use for any length of time. It's sad that movies so pervade the modern consciousness that people can't see outside their blinders.

You could always put your arms down for a break. You know, like glass blowers, potters, or pretty much anyone who builds things with their hands already does and have done pretty much as long as creatures had arms.

So, as you say, those who do not study the past ...

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678289)

But, but, but... there was this one study that says you might be wrong! So you should all just go home.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678535)

You could always put your arms down for a break. You know, like glass blowers, potters, or pretty much anyone who builds things with their hands already does and have done pretty much as long as creatures had arms.

Which really doesn't happen with anywhere near that frequency when it comes to lolcomputers.

Anyway, the real problem isn't that people want to introduce a new interface, one that's inefficient for general tasks regardless of how cool it looks; clearly, it will kick arse and take names for certain specific tasks.

The problem are the tools who insist it will be the interface, period. It'll replace everything. Regrow your hair! Cure female hysteria! Musk's Patent Holokeyboard! Hilariously enough, the people designing these interfaces are generally not the people screaming about how awesome it is and how it will revolutionize your Twats and allow you to post crap nobody will read to your Facebook.

tl;dr: This is Slashdot, every opinion here is an asshole.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678271)

Like most things, it is a matter of how much is bad. Yes, holding your arms up for lengths of time leads to muscle fatigue, but that is something your body can recover from. After all, painters, electricians, and other craftsmen such as mechanics, spent a long time with their arms overhead doing precision work. Just some quick google searching yielded:

Common hazards for electricians [toxictorts.com]

Multi-touch and Gorilla arm and how some companies are ignoring it [examiner.com]

Skin problems in mechanics [dermnetnz.org]

What is bad about being a mechanic? [chron.com]

You'll notice a common trend in these articles. The only one that mentions arm fatigue is the one complaining about multi-touch surfaces. The rest have other issues from repetitive tasks (see the vibration issue from power tools, tied into the "Skin Problems" article) and assorted chemical/environmental problems. I tried searching a little harder for gorilla arm and injuries associated with it, but only came up with a couple multi-touch articles. It seems the only ones really complaining are those with a desk job.

Gorilla Arm: Painful? probably. Can we adjust to it? Almost definitely, if craftsmen can use their hands to carry and manipulate tools for 8 hours a day, we can move a non-existant cube from point A to point B every now and then. Life threatening? Not hardly. Also, people will naturally gravitate toward the right tool for the right job, or close to it. Once we figure out the hologram sucks for typing, the keyboards will get a new life.

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678327)

This is known as "gorilla arm syndrome" and is used as a textbook example of what not to do when designing user interfaces.

And yet it works just fine for orchestra conductors, people not normally associated with having "gorilla arms".

Don't believe everything in your textbooks.

(Other examples include teachers/profs who spend a lot of time writing on a chalkboard/whiteboard, and cops directing traffic (okay, rare))

Re:Those who do not study the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678879)

What about an easel and a paintbrush? Painters solve the "Gorilla arm syndrome" by simply lowering their hands when they're not painting. These sorts of interface are fine if you're only supplying input intermittently. I'm not saying Musk's idea is a good one but the so called 'rule' that vertical interfaces are always bad is clearly false.

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

flimflammer (956759) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679035)

Why is "gorilla arm" only a thing when it pertains to computers? Why can literally large chunks of the human population already do these kind of things, but we apparently can't?

Re:Those who do not study the past (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679647)

It is because when it comes to computers, we have a more comfortable and more efficient way to interact with them. If other people had more comfortable way to do physical tasks, they would also complain when the less comfortable way was suggested.

You're missing the point... (1)

denzacar (181829) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680575)

It won't work. When you hold your hand out from your body for an extended period of time, your arm gets tired and begins to droop. This is known as "gorilla arm syndrome" and is used as a textbook example of what not to do when designing user interfaces.

Every single input device does not have to be universal or suitable for every single task - which is why we use a mouse AND a keyboard.

Don't think of it as a user interface. Think of it as a virtual 3D sculpting tool.

So, is he creating it? (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,2 days | (#44677909)

Or positing it? After the vacuum tube BS stories, I refuse to read another Elon Musk-slobbering fest article.

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678083)

hmm, at least he's pushing boundaries, dreaming, and /doing/ things.

what have you done, besides consume?

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678345)

hmm, at least he's pushing boundaries, dreaming, and /doing/ things.

what have you done, besides consume?

When you are rich, you have time to dream.
When you are poor, you only have time to fulfill other people's dreams.

Re:So, is he creating it? (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678403)

If that is your attitude then you are much poorer than you can ever imagine.

Re:So, is he creating it? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678353)

They crazy homeless guy on the street corner outside the office is pushing boundaries, dreaming, and doing things. The only difference is he doesnt have 1.2 billion and a marketing arm to sensationalize everything he says or talks about.

Re:So, is he creating it? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679097)

Interestingly enough, Musk has that money because he managed to actually push boundaries, rather than just talk about them. When was the last time you did something that damn near everyone in the world said wasn't possible?

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679301)

Given that his recent announcmenets have all been used in fiction for perhaps a century I don't see how he's pushing bounderies.

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678121)

He's tweeting it, which is much more professional, and likely to be picked up by the news. You know that because CNN will do whole news stories on tweets, not Facebook posts.

Next up... I am drinking coffee and eating a blueberry muffin. News at 11!

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678225)

No kidding. He's one letter away from being Felon Musk. 3D printing hype is in there too, "immediately printed in titanium"! But of course!

Re:So, is he creating it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679333)

He's also one letter away from being Melon Musk, but I fail to see what either of those have to do with anything...

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44680283)

Just two away from Melon Husk... mmh good.

Re:So, is he creating it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678257)

After the vacuum tube BS...

I know there's a lot of BS floating around about tubes, but I really think they give a nicer organic tone. I still play solid-state amps sometimes, too, but the tubes just have a little different signal response. I don't see what the big deal is.

Re:So, is he creating it? (1)

mTor (18585) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679347)

Musk really blew it with his Hyperloop proposal (severely flawed design and unworkable engineering) and now this nonsense. He's starting to believe the hype and BS about himself and you should never do that.

It won't be long before press starts mocking him as a result of all this.

Another fake story? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678031)

Given the one about the driverless cars I'm assuming every story Slashdot posts is a not particularly funny fake.

Elon Musk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678097)

...is great at making things that 99.9999999999999998% of the world doesn't need and can't afford. I don't think he's a great inventor.

Re:Elon Musk... (1)

doconnor (134648) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678347)

They probably said that about the ENIAC, too.

Re: Elon Musk... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678523)

I think you just underestimated how many need an electric car.

Re:Elon Musk... (1)

holmstar (1388267) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678855)

So 0.000001435 people can afford his products? That would be something like a sliver of a fingernail of one person. I'm pretty sure it's not quite that bad.

Sure he's not building an IM suit (1)

Megahard (1053072) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678169)

Just wait until he's kidnapped by terrorists and forced to build rockets for them.

Re:Sure he's not building an IM suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44681025)

He has to develop the ARC reactor power core first. (Which would definitely be handy for his electric cars and space businesses.) Only after that will terrorists (likely hired by other monied interests) kidnap him and lead to the chain of events that would get him to build an Iron Man powersuit.

Reading comprehension fail ... (2)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678191)

This has been posted all over the place, and it always talks about the Iron Man displays.

Nowhere does Musk say that. He says he will design a rocket nozzle with his hands and print it with a 3D printer.

You can do that today with some software and a Kinect or other motion tracker.

Nowhere does he talk about 3D displays hanging in space. Gesture controlled solid modeler and 3D printer. That's it.

Re:Reading comprehension fail ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678913)

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/statuses/371098424294133760
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/statuses/371028785476284416

Re:Reading comprehension fail ... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679051)

Nowhere does Musk say that. He says he will design a rocket nozzle with his hands and print it with a 3D printer.

So, what happened to the electric jet that Tony Stark was supposed to help Elon with?

You may not have noticed but... (1)

denzacar (181829) | 1 year,2 days | (#44680687)

Tony Stark is a bit of a self-obsessed jerk. That's what happened.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678229)

Isn't it about time we had enough of elon musk's musings on /.?

He's basically just going around telling the press about how he would like the future to be, by rehashing projects that others have worked on for decades.

Re:Why? (1)

holmstar (1388267) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679079)

by rehashing projects that others have worked on for decades.

So what? Most inventions are just a novel mix/rehash of previous work that together works better than prior art. Electric cars have been around for a hundred years, but a practical electric car that compares favorably to existing internal combustion engine cars is novel, even if it does require a six figure salary to buy one. Rockets have been around in some form for centuries, but the falcon 9 is one of the most efficient (in terms of cost per kg) rockets ever built, and he's still working on making it significantly more efficient than that.

Besides, inventions are almost always obvious in retrospect and are built upon years of effort by others. It's rare that a single person comes up with an idea that's truly novel.

The think about Musk is that he has an opinion, such as: "We should have a human presence on Mars", and then he actually starts a successful aerospace company to work toward making that happen. Not that many people have the right combination of characteristics to do something like that.

I bet 1M$... (1)

Arkh89 (2870391) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678233)

... That it will have actually nothing to do with real holograms... You know, the one with wavefront interference in a 3D gratting...

Do not want. (4, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678493)

As someone who does this for a living, let me tell you that Elon Musk is a idea guy, not a user. These guys are a dime a dozen and often see things like iPads and flashy technology as "the future", but in implementation, they miss out on things like Ease of User Input, and Long term use strain. A spaceball and a mouse are about the best you can get for 3d space navigation for long periods of time, which is how the people who actually build this stuff use it daily.

You can see this yourself if you want to do a little accuracy experiment. Take your mouse and move it a pixel. Now, take your hand, hold it in the air, and move your hand that same amount without the help of friction on the table or the mouse to rest your hand on. Even if LeapMotion and other 3d space tracking systems were that accurate, it's not an optimal setup for actually doing work, due to strain and other issues. Now, I don't often need single pixel-accuracy, but 4-5 pixel accuracy is needed more often than you think.

Elon Musk sits in a "end item" meeting where the final design is 3d modeled and displayed on a screen, and pictorial representation of that model is manipulated using leap motion. Great. But actual engineering design work done this way? He's dreaming. Or, he's just talking about using Leap Motion et al tied to a CAD program, in which case... Who cares? He's not the first, and he's certainly not a visionary on the subject.

Re:Do not want. (1)

butalearner (1235200) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679263)

+1, Should have been pointed out earlier. This point is more important than the dangers of gorilla arm syndrome, or the technical feasibility of it, or the capability/likelihood of Elon Musk to follow-through with it.

Barring a radical new piece of software with crazy amounts of automation, the utility of such a thing would be limited to design reviews. Don't get me wrong, if impressing the customer with something like this helped sell products, it would totally be worth it, but call me a skeptic when it comes to performing actual work with such an interface (at least, for the foreseeable future).

Re:Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44681103)

I can easily make single pixel adjustments with my hand hovering over the bracing surface/tabletop,
It's called using the 'zoom' function.

However your point is still valid; you use a mouse when you want speed and precise movement, you use a friction-free input device when you want natural organic motion or complex gestures. Most people who draw digitally have a tablet for this reason.
But the whole concept of control with free hand movement has caught on a bit recently, it's better to just watch where it goes at this point.

Two important questions (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | 1 year,2 days | (#44678669)

1. Will it require anything to project the image onto? Even if it's just water vapor streaming through the air.

2. Will it be visible from any angle, or will it center itself on one person's point of view?

"who is often compared to Stark by the tech press" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44678747)

Stop it already.

You too, slashdot!

needs more Hank Scorpio (1)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679809)

or Ernst Blowfeld.
Remember nerdboys, he's not the one with the vision statement of "don't be evil". So that's always an option. Heck, he grew Paypal into the evil shoggoth that it is today.

No need for holograms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679313)

... when technologies that give everyone a personal screen (ie Glass, Oculus Rift) are becoming more available.

Not a hologram (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | 1 year,2 days | (#44679817)

Seriously, every other news outlet has already gotten this wrong, but I expected better from Slashdot. A hologram is an application of phased array optics. You have a 2D surface. That surface contains a series of seemingly arbitrary fields of light and dark. Those fields, when illuminated with a coherent light source (like a LASER), produce an interference pattern which reproduces the light field emanating from a 3D object as it passes through that 2D surface. In essence, it creates a window through which you can view true 3D. That shit in Iron Man, with images floating in air... that's not a hologram.

JPL: we've been here before (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44679953)

"We figured out how to design rocket parts just w hand movements through the air (seriously)"

Isn't that what JPL/NASA has been doing for years in their cave-based VR labs? And doesn't SpaceX employ a lot of ex-JPL folks?

This guy could claim to have a new and improved wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44680973)

Seriously!? This guy could claim to have a new and improved way to take a crap and it would make the news. This is nothing until we see something. Even less that the hyper tube vaporware. It is not a thing until it is a thing, Anything else is just hype to boost your stock.

Armor (1)

readingaccount (2909349) | 1 year,2 days | (#44681265)

Fine, well if Musk's not going to bother making the IM Armor, I'll make my own! With embedded blackjack and holographic hookers! You know what... forget the suit!

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