One thing I always enjoy, when seeing a movie with other designers, is the discussion afterward. Talking about different things we each captured and then having some in depth critique is always fun. The format will probably change with each additional new movie, but I want to keep it digestible. Also feel free to point out any interfaces that I miss!
Movie: Code 46 (2003)
[it contains Organic User Interfaces, transparent monitors, futuristic workstation with a touch pad]
This is a futuristic movie so there are several experiences that could be captured. I want to capture the two interesting ones.
The first is the Digital Photo Album. It’s a normal pocket sized photo album, but instead of 4×6 pictures, it has 4×6 bendable lcd screens. On these screens they play home movies that have been recorded. This is a great concept because you use the already current mental model of pocket sized albums to store memories. This would be a great leap into the household.
The other interesting thing about this is the interface is nothing more than an onscreen “jog” mechanism. The user rewinds and fast forwards by moving the thumb north and south on the jog. By pressing the center, the movie pauses. Great device and very understated, which as you know I like. 🙂
For further reading, and for classification, this interface would called an Organic User Interface. Mainly because the interface bends into shapes other than flat. There are some very interesting studies and prototypes around this model. If you are feeling particularly brave, you should head over to the Organic User Interface site (a spinoff of the ACM Magazine), that has a ton of information, videos, and papers that have been published on the subject. Of particular note about the actual implementation would be the speed of the video and no apparent view of the battery pack. These futuristic things are what will really start pushing the need for modern user interfaces.
The second piece is wonderful setup for a futuristic workstation. This is their vision of the modern workstation. It consists of multiple monitors, above eye level on opposite walls, and a controlling device near the hand rest area. Of course it’s a natural interface due to the lack of mouse and traditional keyboard, but I also like what they did with the monitor position (above eye level, which prevents tiring of the eyes). I also like that they blended the controller and monitors in with the environment. The monitors are transparent when they are not on, and the small keyboard-like controller is small, clear, and flat, almost concealing itself when not in use.
Transparent Monitors are just around the corner! The recent work over at Purdue into optically transparent electronics shows a lot of promise.
The development of mechanically flexible and/or optically transparent electronics could enable next-generation electronics technologies, which would be easy-to-read, light-weight, unbreakable, transparent, and flexible. Potential applications could include transparent monitors, heads-up displays, and conformable products. Recent reports have demonstrated transparent thin film transistors (TFTs) using channels consisting of semiconductor nanowires (ZnO, SnO2, or In2O3) and random networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs).[1,2] [Source]