Sci-Fi Movie & experimental interface concepts

I watched The Hunger Games, which had a lot more interface design than I thought it would!

  • Finger Print Reading Device: After being pricked in the index finger and cataloging everyone’s bloody fingerprint, a small device would scan the fingerprint and identify who each person was.
  • Automatic sliding doors: (felt much more high tech than our typical sliding doors, but basically the same) in trains, buildings, homes, etc.
  • Touch screen remote and glass wall: In the penthouse an entire wall of the room was glass and would change to show different real-time views of the world based on what the user wished to see ) i.e. busy city streets, calm forest…and make it feel like you were actually there while still in your room.
  • Large interactive touch screen: An interactive learning device with large touchscreen table, and corresponding wall screen. In this particular example in the movie, a girl was practicing her skills on analyzing certain types of bugs and plants (for their desired uses for survival?)
  • GPS tracking device: devices inserted into the players forearms for tracking purposes. All the tracking data was sent back to the headquarters where they were able to monitor and track each player in the arena.
  • Hunger Games Headquarters: A giant room filled with touchscreen tables in a circle all around a common area where collaborated ideas where made into holograms for all to see and interact with.
  1. This is how they were able to monitor all players
  2. Control of entire arena via touch screen interfaces
  3. Create 2-D images, turn them into 3-D hologram type images, and then make them real by sending them into the arena (creating fires, fallen trees, animals, etc. from the screen)
  4. Project images and messages into the sky/dome of the arena for players to see
  5. Control the daytime/nighttime of the sky/dome

Analyzing: My favorite UI from this movie was the touchscreen remote and glass wall. I love that by choosing a location, the image and sound would appear and make the user feel as if they were actually in that space, not in a small room. I would love to have this in my house, especially showing spots in remote locations. It was a little unclear in the movie how this interface worked however. It seemed as if the locations being shown were completely random, and that the user didn’t have full control over what they were looking at. It might have been interesting to be able to pick very specific (public) locations to have projected on the wall.

Experimental Interface Concepts:

  1. Automatic tinted glass wall/windows: Floor to ceiling windows (in your house, or business) that would act as normal glass during the day, and slowly begin to tint themselves at night so that no one could see in from the outside. This would also be adjustable via touch screen panels on the glass to be tinted during the day if needed (acting as blinds) or allow more/less light into the house. Even if it wasn’t a sunny day, the user could allow for artificial sunlight to enter the room, or block it out if it was too bright.
  2. Smart Refrigerator: a fridge that keeps track of your food. It would know what’s inside before you open it, let you know when something is getting low (i.e. you only have 1 egg left), and allow for a grocery list feature for things that you run out of. When an item is gone, your refrigerator would ask you if you would like to add that item to a grocery list. Before going to the store (or possibly while at the store in case you forget) a grocery list would be exported to your smart phone, along with item s that are getting low in case you want to stock up. Bonus features: your fridge would also keep track of expiration dates to warn you when food is about to expire. It would keep track of how long left overs have been in your fridge so you don’t have to remember, and advise you if it is still safe to eat if it has been awhile. There could possibly be a recipe feature, where it gives you ideas on what you can make based on the food you have in your house. That one might only work if there was a similar way to keep track of your dry goods in cupboards/pantry as well.
  3. Home Security System: User interfaces placed on doors around your house that allow you to enter a passcode (or pattern passcode, similar to some mobile phone apps) to be able to unlock your doors. Maybe there could be thumbprint recognition as an alternative option (like on the new iphone) that allows you to unlock your door instead of a passcode. The interface would also be useful for guests. When they arrive at your door they could enter options onto the screen alerting those at home who is at the door. It would act as a doorbell, but with more information about who is at your door rather than simply alerting you that someone is at your door. Maybe a voice would alert you (i.e. John Smith is at your front door) that could be heard in whatever room you happened to be in at the time.
  4. PLU Code Scanner: This would be more like a mobile phone app, but it would allow the user to go grocery shopping without having to check out. You would scan items with your phone, and then place them straight into your bag and keep shopping. You would be able to remove items of course, and there would need to be some way to account for items sold by weight. As you left the store, your phone would recognize that you were leaving, and charge you for your items (using a bank account or credit card connected to the app).
  5. Interactive dinning room table: This would look like a standard dinning table, but the top would be a glass screen that the user could interact with in different ways. Features would include: automatic sensors that could detect items being placed on the table (hot dishes, cold drinks, etc.) and would adjust hot spots on the table that could assist in keeping hot dishes warm, and iced drinks cold for longer. If an item was removed the heating/cooling element would turn off. To avoid injury, spots that were heated would glow red until cooled down (similar to a stove top).
  6. In the same vein as the idea above, having kitchenware (glasses, mugs, plates) that could maintain temperature to keep food and drinks at an appropriate hot or cold level. The dish would be able to judge if it needed to keep something warm or cold and adjust itself accordingly. Or you could adjust the settings by touching the interface and choosing a temperature.
  7. Dog Trainer Interface: An interface that can sense motion and detect what command a dog is doing and if it is doing it correctly. It would speak commands (like a human would), then be able to sense what movement the dog was making and reward it for being correct (treat dispenser? haha)
  8. Interactive Table Top: A game station that incorporates gestures (hand and facial), voice commands and touchscreen. It can synch with your smart phone just by being near it and used as an extra element of interaction.
  9. Voice Command Entertainment Center: Play movies, music, tv all by the sound of your voice. Automatically pauses when you walk out of the room (tv, movie). Music will fade in the room you are leaving and turn on in the room you enter so it sounds as if you never left.

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