Vika’s Desktop

Oblivion-Desktop-Overview

As Jack begins his preflight check in the Bubbleship, Vika touches the center of the glass surface to power up the desktop that keeps her in contact with Sally on the TET and allows her to assist and monitor Jack as he repairs the drones on the ground.

The interface components

Oblivion-Desktop-Overview-000

The desktop is broken up into five main screens. The central screen is the TETVision map, which is a radar map used for communications, and monitors the Bubbleship, drones, and scav activity.

To the left of the TETVision map is a Hydro-rig status feed that keeps Vika informed of the water collection progress. Then on the right of the map is the drone status feed, which provides drone vital statistics, deployment and fuel status.

Oblivion-Desktop-Overview-000b

The upright section of the desktop contains two screens. The top screen is the TET system status feed, which monitors the TET’s orbit, and communications status. The second screen monitors the weather systems and wind velocity vectors, which would have an affect on the Bubbleship and drone flight safety.

Quick power-up

Powering on the desktop is virtually instantaneous and is as simple as touching the center of the table. One possible explanation for the speed is that the desktop goes into sleep mode and is in an always-on state. There are a couple of scenes in the film when the TET is able to access the desktop remotely that would support this assumption.

A possible method of power-down would be to tap and hold for a determined period of time. Sadly, there is no film footage that shows Vika shutting down the system.

Multiple versus single user

Oblivion-Desktop-Overview-003

The scale of this desktop is a bit large for a single user who needs to access life-saving information quickly. The display size and setup in the film is generally used for collaborative space so that multiple people can comfortably view and manipulate the data at the same time.

This large scale causes Vika to constantly lean over the table to see information for various reasons including glare, reach and angle of the displays. This could be stressful on the body when interacting with the desktop over long periods of time each day.

A better solution

Vika is only shown interacting with the TETVision map and not with any of the other feeds. If the map is the only screen that is interactive, a more ergonomic setup could be utilized to minimize glare and reach. This would allow Vika to see the vital information at a glance and still enable her to comfortably interact with the TETVision map.

Oblivion-Desktop-Overview-Ergonomics

Don’t forget the user’s needs

Overall, Vika’s desktop is a beautiful piece of technology that performs its function very well. However, in a real-world situation, it is important to remember that Vika will be using this equipment for possibly long periods of time and needs quick access to vital information. Having to roll back and forth between screens during an emergency situation could mean the difference between life and death for Jack while out in the field.

3 thoughts on “Vika’s Desktop

  1. Just an idea, hard to describe without a visual (sent to the author), but here goes…

    Have you considered if the alternative setup had the table dipped in the middle towards the user with facets for multiple screens? Then a projector type interface that displays the screens above the table (sort of similar to Minority Report), or a suspended display…

    That way the table could still function as a desk/table of sorts when the display is not in use and the idea of the projected display would still allow for the incredible view when not in use.

    I figure she’d still have the clean view if they used the projected display version vs the hanging display version. The projectors would sit in the top of the table (furthest from the user) so they would be out of the way but able to project the screens above the table. It would be set up with spacial tracking so the seated user would only have to reach towards a display to interact with it rather than moving the screens to the table. Additionally, the settings would adjust based on the users body dimensions so a shorter or taller person would use normal body motions and be able to get the same functionality from the projected display.

    And when the projectors are off (or if the hanging display was clear and acted like a HUD), theres a clean view through the windows to enjoy those sky-scapes.

    This is fun!! 😉

  2. Pingback: Vika’s Desktop | Sci-fi interfaces | Pintsized Robot Ninja

  3. In addition to being a source of glare, the huge window which Vika is facing is a waste of potential screen space. If you wanted to make the space multi use, the activation touch on the center of the table could cause the window to tint and become a screen (short throw projection) for everything except the TETVision map. Doing so would be reduce outside distraction.

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