Elon Musk Unveils His Vision For 'The Future of Design' With Hand Manipulated Holographic Technology

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (who we could safely call a futurist at this, can’t we?) has more on his mind that just cars and 4,000 MPH Hyperloop transportation systems. He also tweeted his intention of developing a hand-manipulated hologram design engine and promised to post a video of designing a rocket part with only hand gestures and printing the part in titanium.

I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. The video is up, and here it is:

Musk showed a wireframe of the rocket part, and he was able to rotate the 3D object on a screen with one hand, and with a second hand, he zoomed in and out, moved it around the screen, and spun the object around and “caught it”--all in the air.

Elon Musk hologram design

He moved on to manipulating an actual 3D CAD model and interacting with the software; you can see that he used a Leap Motion controller. He performed pretty much all the same motions as above, but it appears as though he was able to “click” certain areas, too.

Elon Musk hologram design Oculus Rift

Next, he shows off a 3D projection, a freestanding glass projection (Ironman style), and interacts with the model using the Oculus Rift. Finally, he prints the part in titanium with a 3D metal printer.

Elon Musk hologram design

The input methods he demos are powerful, although he’s just using existing technology to do it. This isn’t really a future-leaning endeavor per se. Finally, note that we don’t actually see him design anything; the models he works with are already made. Still, it’s exciting to see new ways of doing things come to life on screen.