So…videoconferencing

Avengers-Iron-Man-Videoconferencing03

So, talking about how JARVIS is lying to Tony, and really all of this was to get us back here. If you accept that JARVIS is doing almost all the work, and Tony is an onboard manager, then it excuses almost all of the excesses of the interface.

  1. Distracting 3D, transparent, motion graphics of the tower? Not a problem. Tony is a manager, and wants to know that the project is continuing apace.
  2. Random-width rule line around the video? Meh, it’s more distracting visual interest.
  3. “AUDIO ANAL YSIS” (kerning, people!) waveform that visually marks whether there is audio he could hear anyway? Hey, it looks futuristic.
  4. The fact that the video stays bright and persistent in his vision when he’s a) not looking it and b) piloting a weaponized environmental suit through New York City? Not an issue because JARVIS is handling the flying.
  5. That is has no apparent controls for literally anything (pause/play, end call, volume, brightness)? Not a problem, JARVIS will get it right most of the time, and will correct anything at a word from Tony.
  6. That the suit could have flown itself to the pipe, handled the welding, and pipe-cuffing itself, freeing Tony to continue Tony Starking back in his office? It’s because he’s a megalomaniac and can’t not.

If JARVIS were not handling everything, and this a placebo interface, well, I can think of at least 6 problems.

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Iron Man HUD: Just the functions

In the last post we went over the Iron HUD components. There is a great deal to say about the interactions and interface, but let’s just take a moment to recount everything that the HUD does over the Iron Man movies and The Avengers. Keep in mind that just as there are many iterations of the suit, there can be many iterations of the HUD, but since it’s largely display software controlled by JARVIS, the functions can very easily move between exosuits.

Gauges

Along the bottom of the HUD are some small gauges, which, though they change iconography across the properties, are consistently present.

IronMan1_HUD07

For the most part they persist as tiny icons and thereby hard to read, but when the suit reboots in a high-altitude freefall, we get to see giant versions of them, and can read that they are:

Continue reading

Iron Man HUD: A Breakdown

So this is going to take a few posts. You see, the next interface that appears in The Avengers is a video conference between Tony Stark in his Iron Man supersuit and his partner in romance and business, Pepper Potts, about switching Stark Tower from the electrical grid to their independent power source. Here’s what a still from the scene looks like.

Avengers-Iron-Man-Videoconferencing01

So on the surface of this scene, it’s a communications interface.

But that chat exists inside of an interface with a conceptual and interaction framework that has been laid down since the original Iron Man movie in 2008, and built upon with each sequel, one in 2010 and one in 2013. (With rumors aplenty for a fourth one…sometime.)

So to review the video chat, I first have to talk about the whole interface, and that has about 6 hours of prologue occurring across 4 years of cinema informing it. So let’s start, as I do with almost every interface, simply by describing it and its components. Continue reading