Design and print in augmented reality with virtual overlay SpaceGlasses


Computers are easier to use than ever. GUIs (graphical user interfaces) have come a long way after decades of feedback. Children are taught how to operate computers with a mouse and keyboard from a young age. And now touchscreen tablets make computing even easier to learn and use. But tomorrow’s computers will be still easier to use. We showed you the Tony Stark-like interface that Elon Musk scripted together with a Leap Motion, but there’s a consumer version hitting the market soon called SpaceGlasses.

Woah. That’s slick. SpaceGlasses are essentially a HUD, cameras, and a computer to tie them together. Operation is entirely gesture controlled. Apps are opened by touching icon buttons that float in the user’s view. Sculpting a printable vase is as simple as waving your hands in the air. Printing it is as simple as placing the virtual model onto the actual printer.

I cannot imagine how it could be any simpler, besides the printer being controlled directly by thoughts. And SpaceGlasses do so much more than that. As the video demonstrated, they can identify people in real time and give you information about them. Imagine that being applied to troubleshooting a 3D printer: by analyzing a failed print the SpaceGlasses could provide possible explanations and solutions, like “Not enough extrusion; Try slowing the print speed and/or raising the hot end temperature.” Oh, how I could have used that.

Nearly two decades after Nintendo’s Virtual Boy debuted, we’re finally getting practical virtual/augmented reality devices. Sculpting and modeling printable objects will soon be more comparable to conventional sculpting than to CAD. Operating a printer (and other devices) will come with a virtual assistant that’s actually helpful, showing us our mistakes and how to fix them. Pieces will be edited by multiple people at once, all looking at the same empty space on a table. That’s pretty close to a holodeck experience. You can reserve a piece of the future for a smooth $667.