Galaxy, Quested

Thanks to everyone in the audience and the Netflix Design Team for an amazing scifiinterfaces movie night of Galaxy Quest. It’s one of my favorite movies, has some awesome interfaces, and it’s so much better watching it with a big group of people who love it, too. Not to mention the free shuttle. And free food. And free beer. And awesome schwag. A fantastic night for everyone who braved the rain.

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Don’t forget, if you won one of the shirts in the trivia contest but it’s not the right fit, let me know the right fit and where to have it sent!

Last but not least in my fall speaking tour is Nerd Nite East Bay at the New Parkway in Oakland on Monday. It’s a sex-themed night. Erin Brandt will seduce a dancing spider. Zarinah Agnew will introduce the basics neuroanatomy and has agreed to talk about where the penis is in the brain as a nod to the theme. :) I’ll be doing a 20-minute (comedic) presentation of sex-related interfaces in sci-fi, including four awesome new and thought-provoking interfaces that weren’t in the book. See you there!

Scifiinterfaces and Netflix present: Galaxy Quest

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Thursday, 20 NOV 02014

Come to Los Gatos to join the Netflix Design Team and Chris Noessel, Design Fellow at Cooper and the author of “Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction” in a viewing of one of the all time sci-fi/comedy greats Galaxy Quest.

Reserve your ticket at Eventbrite

It’s a great opportunity to hear Chris deconstruct one of the interfaces from the movie and network with other designers. There will be a trivia contest with sci-fi interface t-shirts based on the movie as prizes. Additionally there will be cool schwag and possibly some book giveaways. Food, drink, and popcorn will be provided. Best of all, the whole event is free and recently opened to the public!

Agenda

6:30 – 7:00 P.M.: Registration & Networking

7:00 – 9:30 P.M.: Presentation (some mild spoilers) & Movie

Address

Netflix campus cinema: 100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032

Shuttle from San Fransico

A shuttle from San Francisco will be provided from the Glen Park Bart Station at 5pm. If you need additional information about the shuttle please email asatterlee@netflix.com.

Øredev opening keynote

If you heaven’t read the (admittedly, long) series of reviews on the “operating system” OS1 from Spike Jonze’s Her, now you can watch me work through the highlights as the opening keynote at the Øredev conference in Malmö, Sweden. (There are a few extra things that didn’t make it to the blog.)

Props to my friend Magnus Torstensson at Unsworn Industries, who noted that government would be another possible organization that could produce OS1 (but that also would not have an interest in releasing it, for reasons similar to the military.)

Containment unit

With a ghost ensconced in a trap, the next step in ghostbusting is to transfer the trap to a containment unit.  Let’s look at the interaction.

The containment unit is a large device built into a wall of the old firehouse that serves as the Ghostbusters headquarters. It’s painted a fire-truck red and has two colored bulbs above it. As they approach, the green bulb is lit. It’s got a number of buttons, levers, and cables extending into it. Fortunately for purposes of discussion, Stantz has to explain it to their new employee WInston Zeddmore, and I can just quote him.

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“This is where we store all the vapors, entities, and slimers that we trap. Very simple, really. Loaded trap here. Unlock the system…” He grabs the red door lever and cranks it counterclockwise 90 degrees and lowers the door to reveal a slot for the trap.

“Insert the trap,” he continues, and a sucking sound is heard and the green lightbulb goes off and the red lightbulb turns on. Continue reading

Ghost trap

Once ghosts are bound by the streams from the Proton Packs, they can be trapped by a special trap. It has two parts: The trap itself, that is roughly the size of a toaster, and the foot pedal activation switch, which connects to the trap box by a long black cord.

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To open the trap, a ghostbuster simple steps on the foot pedal. For a second the trap sparks with some unknown energy, and opens to reveal a supernatural light within. Once open, the bound ghost can be manipulated down towards the trap.

Continue reading

Proton Pack

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The Ghostbusters wear “unlicensed particle accelerators” to shoot a stream of energy from an attached gun. Usefully, this positively-charged stream of energy can bind ghosts. The Pack is the size of a large camper’s backpack and is worn like one. The Proton pack must be turned on and warmed up before use. Its switch, oddly, is on the back, where the user cannot get to it themselves.

Proton-Pack-03 Continue reading

Ectogoggles

Regular readers will have noticed that Starship Troopers is on a bit of pause of late, and the reason is that I am managing a bizarrely busy stint of presentations related to the scifiinterfaces project. Also it’s Halloweek and I want to do more spooky stuff. Last week I wondered e-loud if Gozer from Ghostbusters was a pink Sith, but this post is actually talking about a bit of the interfaces from the movie.

When the Ghostbusters are called to the Sedgewick Hotel, they track a ghost called Slimer from his usual haunt on the 12th floor to a ballroom. There Ray dons a pair of asymmetrical goggles that show him information about the “psycho-kinetic energy (PKE) valences” in the area. (The Ghostbusters wiki—and of course there is such a thing—identifies these alternately as paragoggles or ectogoggles.) He uses the goggles to peek from behind a curtain to look for Slimer.

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Far be it for this humble blog to try and reverse-engineer what PKE valences actually are, but let’s presume it generally means ghosts and ghost related activity. Here’s an animated gif of the display for your ghostspotting pleasure.

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As he scans the room, we see a shot from his perspective. Five outputs augment the ordinary view the googles offer.

Continue reading

Rescue Shuttle

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After the ambush on Planet P, Ibanez pilots the shuttle that rescues survivors and…and Diz. We have a shot of the display that appears on the dashboard between the pilot and copilot. Tiny blue columns of text too small to read that spill onto the left. One big column of tiny green text that wipes on and flashes. Seizure-inducing yellow dots spazzing around on red grids. A blue circle on the right is probably Planet P or a radar, but the graphic…spinning about its center so quick you cannot follow. There’s not…I can’t…how is this supposed to…I’m just going to call it: fuigetry.