>Omni-tools seem to have some kind of 'solidity' to their holograms,
>right? Otherwise you couldn't type on them.
Sort of, yeah. The handwave for the way the holographic keyboards and stuff work in the in-game Codex is that they're holograms with conformal force fields overlaid, sort of the same way a Star Trek holodeck pretends there's a table or a wall there, so you type where your eye tells you the keyboard is and the forcefield provides the tactile feedback your fingers expect. (In the ME universe the actual keystrokes you intended are detected by special gloves, or fingertip implants for those who can't be bothered wearing them, which I think is why all the scientist costumes in the game have those tech glove things. There's also an element of passive neural mapping involved, turning the whole thing into sort of a do-what-I-mean interface.)
(There are also characters in ME2 who have holographic "armor", presumably just a visual representation of their battle suits' kinetic barriers, but it doesn't take a lot of mental effort to move that along the tech curve to a truly integrated hard light armor system - which is something I've occasionally thought of having Don Griffin invent based on his experiences in Flynnspace.)
But anyway, yeah, by an odd coincidence I was just thinking about that while I was out on the road earlier, listening to fight-sceney music and turning over Tali'Zorah's "live" debut in A Song of War in my head. It's a perfectly reasonable extension of the visuals, if not the in-story explanation of how they work, and we've seen similar technologies in the UF universe already - the hard-light holographic weapons on Last Transport's XAF-1 Flying Frame, for instance. Given the way these things cross-pollinate in UF, it's reasonable to suspect that the system used in the AF-1 has its roots in quarian technology; our masked friends aren't mentioned as ingredients in the stew of technical influences from which the AF-1 draws, but that may have something to do with the fact that Last Transport came out in 2005 and Mass Effect in 2007. :)
(In fact, given that we know from Correspondence that quarian information technology played a huge part in the development of the Next Generation Warship control systems, it's likely that the entire operating system the AF-1 uses to coordinate all its myriad parts and manage operator I/O was developed by QuarTech. As, probably, were the suit's environmental control systems. Nobody builds better breather units.)
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