Still from The Avengers
Since Minority Report, major summer blockbusters have striven to include futuristic computer interfaces in their films.
I find the vision for these fascinating on a few levels. The first is the obvious fact that these they can imagine the possible without being tethered to the restrictions of our current technology.
But it’s also interesting to note that, while they usually they leverage the latest thinking from the technology field (augmented reality, gesture interfaces, etc.), they tend to overlay a dated aesthetic vision for the future. These interfaces are never friendly or welcoming; they are dark, moody, and take their color palette from the days of DOS (this is my problem with the vision of the future in the Mass Effect series as well).
Still from Prometheus
The past 15 years have illustrated a tremendous appetite for whimsy in their engagement technology. People love poking one another on Facebook, have no problem with the word “tweet”, and readily embraced the candy-colored iMac.
Yes, I understand that the sci-fi movies I’m referring to usually deal with space and/or military settings and are therefore less likely to showcase anything like the Boxee Box’s happy frog. But I doubt that any future interfaces will truly be as dark and gloomy as what’s shown in summer blockbusters.