Lego is all about using your imagination. And that’s just what Gravity has done. The London-based software house has developed a way to transport your Lego creations directly to your computer or tablet screen – in real time. They call it Lego X.
A sensor and gyroscope calculate the exact position and orientation of each block. This data is then shared with a computer, which creates a 3D rendered version of the physical model. In some ways, it’s even better than the real thing, as you can edit the digital copy, smoothing out corners, removing nubs from bricks and even adding windows to your virtual design.
Imagine a group of architects sitting round a table in a meeting. Instead of sending digital files back and forth, they can grab a brick and add a new part to the design, watching as it changes on their computers right in front of them. Like old-fashioned Lego, it’s a collaborative tool that lets you bring your ideas to life in seconds – and gain a deeper understanding of what you’re trying to create.
As the lines between the real and the virtual begin to blur, this is an exciting time for software developers, designers and – in this case – Lego enthusiasts. It gives us new ways to harness the creativity we’ve had from our earliest years, which can only be a good thing, and it also gives us new ways to communicate our ideas. After all, if a picture paints a thousand words, how many more must a 3D model paint?
It’s not the first time Gravity has ventured into an unexpected new realm; you may remember them as the company behind a quirky piece of software called Gravity Sketch. Powered by Oculus Rift, it enables you to create 3D designs using augmented reality, simply by ‘drawing’ in the air using a special stylus.
If Gravity finds a way to combine Lego X with their other ideas, we think it could create a whole new world of design. Not bad for something that started out in the toy box.