Augmented Reality in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ – What is realistic and what is science fiction




The movie Spider-Man: Far From Home had a lot of cool visual effects, including very obvious incorporation of the concept of Augmented Reality. Some of the references are obviously science fiction, such as the 3D projection of a monster fighting pretended superhero in the city. However, a few concepts in the movie do have some merit in terms of feasibility using the technologies available today.

Let’s go over them each individually and explore the possibility of current technology to create this kind of cool effect in a Marvel movie.


- Scene 1: Pop-up display above bus passengers’ heads


When Spider Man put on ‘Edi’ AR glass for the first time and looked at his teacher and classmates sitting in front of him on the bus, he saw information pop-up windows above each person’s head.


Is this achievable with technologies today? Well, kind of. It depends on how the person is recognized or identified.


If they are recognized through the cell phone they are using, it is possible that the data transmitted on that cell phone can be hacked and displayed in real time in an AR glass. This requires that each individual device is basically hacked at the same time and all the data are accessed at the same time. It is still very challenging, technically speaking.

If these people are recognized by their appearance, it is almost impossible to identify a person from behind with no facial feature involved and only from part of the back of their heads. That is not possible.


- Scene 2: Spider-Man outfit models display


When Spider Man got into Tony’s weapon design/craft system on his private plane, he asked the system to show ‘everything it has on Spider Man’. The system showed holograms of 5 different Spider Man uniforms.



Is that possible today? Strictly speaking, no.


The way the movie showed to us is that Spider Man (or anyone who happens to be in that room) can see the hologram from any angle. That is not feasible with any projection technology today.


Only when each person in the same room is wearing a head-mounted display, which is networked together, can everyone see the same 3D display simultaneously. That is feasible today, using device like Hololens.

- Scene 3: Real time weapon model design

In the same scene, Spider Man was using his hands to design and modify a weapon model displayed in front of him.



Again, not possible unless he is wearing a head-mounted display. Even using a head mounted display, you could use some hand gesture to control the 3D model, but not to the extent of flexibility shown in the movie. There are still a lot of limitation on the hand gesture control.


- Scene 4: Hologram display room from Iron Man’s memory

Tony’s little therapy experiment – a room that displayed a 3D rendering of a memorial scene in his past was shown for everyone in the hall. Well, this one is science fiction at this point, definitely.



Nonetheless, the movie watching experience is not impacted by whether any of the technology is feasible today. Science fiction and imagination in this type of movie are actually part of the inspiration for future technology development.


To discuss how AR technology can help your organization’s technical training and operation applications, or to experience a real demonstration yourself, please contact info@distat.co.

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