Of all of the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s something about Tony Stark, in particular, that really brings out our inner would-be inventors. He is, after all, the billionaire genius who creates his very own highly advanced suit of armour to fight villains as Iron Man. Who wouldn’t want to be that guy?
Quite frankly, he makes those of us who like to think we’re technologically advanced simply because we have an Android rather than iOS phone, look a bit silly.
And fair enough, you might not have the formidable intellectual and financial resources of a man who’s shown in the films spending all of his free time slaving over yet another new cutting-edge gadget. But the many wonderful Iron Man gadgets aren’t necessarily as outlandish as they might look – indeed, some of them exist in some form in real life, right now.
Don’t believe us? Well, let’s take a look at just some of them…
Iron Man Suit
You might think that no one in the world outside, oh we don’t know, NASA, could possibly be able to assemble their very own Iron Man-esque suit… except that, well, one guy actually did.
As reported by The Mirror and others, the jet-powered flight suit created by ‘real life Tony Stark’, British entrepreneur Richard Browning, is the real deal, consisting of a specially designed exoskeleton, four arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted gas turbine engines.
I mean, wow!… if anything, that sounds almost more impressive than what you’ve seen Robert Downey Jr. zipping around in on screen. And yes, before you ask, it actually does take off, with the pilot able to fly using his own body as the thrust control.
Yep, we reckon this might just be the real-life Iron Man suit. Or as close as you’ll ever get to it.
How likely is it to be produced in real life? 5/10
Conclusion: Yes, it’s physically possible to create a suit superficially resembling the basic functions of the one you’ve seen in the movies. But it takes pretty impressive resources and determination, and even then, it’s not quite the all-action suit you’ll have seen on screen – sniff.
Iron Man Laser
Yes, this is another ‘real life Tony Stark’ job, except that in this case, it’s a laboratory technician from Germany who has made one of the most iconic examples of Iron Man technology a living, breathing reality.
In the case of this CNN article, it’s the glove that Downey Jr.’s character wears in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie that Patrick Priebe went to great lengths to replicate in his workshop.
That wasn’t his first encounter with Iron Man’s legendary lasers, however. Way back in 2010, the same man was wooing Marvel dweebs with his palm-mounted laser – shown in the video below – that produced 1,000 milliwatts. That’s definitely enough to instantly blind someone who isn’t wearing special safety glasses… gulp.
How likely is it to be produced in real life? 6/10
Conclusion: Hey, if it puts our eyesight at risk, it’s more than realistic enough for us to call it the real thing. Now, just point it away from us already. Please.
There’s really very little that Stark’s faithful old A.I. friend, J.A.R.V.I.S., can’t do in the Iron Man films. While those letters stand for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, according to the story, J.A.R.V.I.S. was based on Edwin Jarvis, who was the Stark family’s butler.
As a matter of fact, J.A.R.V.I.S. does pretty much everything for Stark, from controlling his home computers and security locks to calling Pepper Potts.
Hmm, isn’t all of that familiar? Yep, J.A.R.V.I.S. could barely be any closer to the real-life Amazon Echo, which – like its fictional sister – is voice-activated, answering whatever queries the user may have of it. The way Echo connects with smart home products such as lights and Wi-Fi-enabled outlet switches is definitely J.A.R.V.I.S.-like, as are its voice-controlled alarms and reminders that are reminiscent of how J.A.R.V.I.S. reminds Stark when he is running late for an appointment.
How likely is it to be produced in real life? 8/10
Conclusion: Well… Echo is pretty much J.A.R.V.I.S., isn’t it? Practically the only substantial difference is that it only responds to calls of “Alexa” or “Amazon”, rather than “J.A.R.V.I.S.” But you never know – if we ask Amazon really nicely, maybe they’ll make that a feature of a future model.
Even when he’s not wearing his Iron Man suit, Stark is just effortlessly cool. No, we’re not talking about his brains, brawn, money or even laboratory. We’re referring to the special electric generator that he has in his chest, which powers his suit when he’s wearing it but which – even when he’s simply donned a T-shirt – continues to give off a visible eerie glow.
The proper name for that… thing he’s got in his chest is an arc reactor, and we don’t care what you tell us – we want one of our own. But going as far as actually having a metal cylinder planted into our chest cavity? Yeah, that’s a bit much.
This is precisely why we’re so thankful for the existence of the officially Marvel-licensed polyester-blend cotton T-shirt that incorporates the Stark Industries label along with a circular LED light that looks just like an arc reactor.
Mind you, you’ll have to take off the light panel and cable before putting the shirt in the wash, which might just spoil the illusion a little.
How likely is it to be produced in real life? 2/10
Conclusion: No, we don’t mind that this thing’s officially Marvel-licensed. The fact is, if you aren’t required to have an actual bit of metal embedded into your chest, it’s a bit superficial… like having a six-pack drawn with a felt tip. If you’re prepared to judge it as ‘just’ a T-shirt, though, it’s admittedly pretty cool.
There you go – with just a few well-chosen Iron Man gadgets, some of which you’ll probably never be able to buy or build yourself, you, too, can be Tony Stark. Would it be a bit less hassle if we just went to see the movies, though? Yeah, we think we’ll just do that in future.
It certainly wouldn’t cost quite as much…