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How 'Minority Report' Trapped Us In A World Of Bad Interfaces

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#1 +warwagon


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 14:14

How 'Minority Report' Trapped Us In A World Of Bad Interfaces

I wish I could get away with charging my clients a fee for every time they say "Minority Report" to me. I’m a commercial artist in L.A., and 90% of commercial art is shutting up and giving the client what they want. That means I spend a lot of time trying to repackage Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future: floating graphical windows with video hovering in them, typography flickering and animating in response to actors’ actions, interfaces appearing and disappearing when fingers reach out to poke them. In short, building a virtual iPad interface, hovering in front of the actor using it. In Spielberg's future, you only have to twirl your fingers at a computer screen to make it do what you want. It looks cool enough, but it's time for us to let it go: we’ve built our graphics and our electronics around interface eye candy, rather than trying to come up with new and more effective ways to control our real and imaginary gadgets. The best thing you can say about touchscreens are they look good on camera and they’re better than T9 texting, which is kind of like being better than fax machines


It’s important, of course, to put this in context. Minority Report came out in 2002, and we had touchscreens for a long time before then. If you want to feel really let down by the future, here’s the Prius computerscreen-o-matic as interpreted by a 1987 Buick Riviera. Even multitouch had been played with before the movie came out—just in labs, and very expensively. Minority Report’s cleverness was not in inventing new technology from whole cloth, but in extrapolating existing tech into practical, consumer-friendly products.

In the run-up to production on the movie, Spielberg invited a panel of tech experts and self-identified futurists to an "idea summit." Their goal was to create a plausible description of the world of 2054 based on what was current, cutting-edge technology, rather than just constructing one from nothing. Self-driving cars, retina-scanning billboards and criminal-identifying spiderbots all made the resulting 80-page "2054 bible," but the most influential invention of the futurists is the gesture-controlled display.


#2 +Vykranth


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 14:17

How ****ing true that article is ....

#3 ShareShiz



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Posted 08 April 2013 - 15:25

F**k the spiderbots !!

#4 +Nik L

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 15:34

Spot on! If I have a quid for every time someone thought they were being innovative, edgy and futuristic by presenting their information in a manner that makes it wholly inaccessible...

#5 threetonesun


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 16:32

Well, the real issue is that, IIRC, Minority Report used holograms. Obviously multi-touch and twisting and turning on a flat panel isn't going to work. On a hologram? Completely different story.

#6 Jason Stillion

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 16:36

Or think of it this way, do you want a computer screen facing you with your arms always in front of you w/ them suspended in the air while you use the computer.

I rather have a touch pad next to the keyboard on the desk I can use to mimic mouse navigation and clicking.

The Logitech Review (Google TV) Keyboard is pretty nice, but for pc I would want larger pad.

#7 I am Reid

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:28

I think the real problem is that people want an interface like that by just placing it on top of our current way of doing things and doing it the easy way. I think for something like that to work its more of the fundamental things at the core that need to change, like a completely different way our systems function. Its kind of hard to put into words, its not something you just make over night. A system like that needs to be built from the ground up, not just slapped on top of windows or Linux based system, needs to start from the core.

#8 +zhiVago


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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:41

1. He should be greatful he gets the clients and the orders in the first place.
2. Minority Report wasn't the first instance when such a futuristic interfaced was showcased.
3. Microsoft's Kinect proves him wrong.

#9 freak180


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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:13

[quote name='zhiVago' timestamp='1365486111' post='595626132']
1. He should be greatful he gets the clients and the orders in the first place.
2. Minority Report wasn't the first instance when such a futuristic interfaced was showcased.
3. Microsoft's Kinect proves him wrong.
[/quote]kinect is a joke...its broken imo