Scifiinterfaces.com presents the 20th anniversary of Ghost in the Shell at the New Parkway

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UPDATE (21 MAR): Owing to some licensing complications, the event can not be held publicly. But we’re nerds. That doesn’t need to stop us.

Let’s celebrate the 20th anniversary of this awesome, hand-drawn anime title that features some amazingly foresightful wearable tech. The show will be at the New Parkway cinema in Oakland, California on Thursday March 26th at 7PM. As usual there will be an awesome preshow with an analysis of one of the interfaces, a mobile-phone trivia contest to win GitS t-shirts, a possible 30-finger race (if we get enough people and I can make the apparatus), and your ticket includes you in a raffle for one of the year-long Creative Cloud subscriptions (a $600 value) provided from my in-kind sponsor Adobe. Join Major Motoko Kusanagi in her mind expanding search for the Puppet Master, and please spread the word to your friends and mid-1990s anime fans!

Contact!

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Jack lands in a ruined stadium to do some repairs on a fallen drone. After he’s done, the drone takes a while to reboot, so while he waits, Jack’s mind drifts to the stadium and the memories he has of it.

Present information as it might be shared

Vika was in comms with Jack when she notices the alarm signal from the desktop interface. Her screen displays an all-caps red overlay reading ALERT, and a diamond overlaying the unidentified object careening toward him. She yells, “Contact! Left contact!” at Jack.

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As Jack hears Vika’s warning, he turns to look drawing his pistol reflexively as he crouches. While the weapon is loading he notices that the cause of the warning was just a small, not-so-hostile dog. Continue reading

Entrevista Maximiliano Pena

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Hi there. Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your name, where are you from, how do you spend your time?

Hi! I´m Maximiliano Pena and right now I live in La Plata, Argentina. I graduated in Multimedia Design not so long ago, and I usually spent my time doing some freelance work as a web designer. Besides that I like to practice drawing, learning new stuff—currently I’m teaching myself Portuguese—and I like to work on some DIY electronic projects now and then too.

I’ve always thought that I ended up into interaction design thanks to my flying lessons, it always surprised me how the controls on the plane somehow were always available, always at reach but never getting in the way of the task you were doing.

What are some of your favorite sci-fi interfaces (Other than in Oblivion)? (And, of course, why?)

GOTG Continue reading

5 Sci-fi U.S. Presidents not using interfaces

It was my intention to simply show you some images of fictional United States Presidents using interfaces in science fiction movies for Presidents’ Day. But alas. They don’t.

I’m not going to claim this is exhaustive, but I looked at five Presidents:

  1. President Merkin Muffley from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
  2. President Beck from Deep Impact (1998)
  3. President James Dale from Mars Attacks! (1996)
  4. President Thomas J. Whitmore from Independence Day (1996)
  5. President McKenna from X2 (2003)

Over these movies, Presidents can be seen reading displays and teleprompters,…

President Beck explains meteors to the public.

President Beck explains dire asteroids to the public.

President X prepares to read some bad news for mutants.

President McKenna prepares to read some dire news for mutants.

…speaking into public address systems,… Continue reading

Bike interfaces

There is one display on the bike to discuss, some audio features, and a whole lot of things missing.

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The bike display is a small screen near the front of the handlebars that displays a limited set of information to Jack as he’s riding.  It is seen used as a radar system.  The display is circular, with main content in the middle, a turquoise sweep, and a turquoise ring just inside the bezel. We never see Jack touch the screen, but we do see him work a small, unlabeled knob at the bottom left of the bike’s plates.  It is not obvious what this knob does, but Jack does fiddle with it. Continue reading

Jack’s Bike

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Jack’s Bike is a compact, moto-cross-like motorcycle. It’s stored folded up in a rear cargo area of the Bubbleship when not in use. To get it ready to ride Jack:

  1. Unlocks the cargo pod from a button on his wrist
  2. Pulls it out of the Bubbleship
  3. Unfolds its components (which lock automatically into place)
  4. Rides off.

When Jack mounts the bike it automatically powers on and is ready to ride.

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A Deadly Pattern

The Drones’ primary task is to patrol the surface for threats, then eliminate those threats. The drones are always on guard, responding swiftly and violently against anything they do perceive as a threat.

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During his day-to-day maintenance, Jack often encounters active drones. Initially, the drones always regard him as a threat, and offer him a brief window of time speak his name and tech number (for example, “Jack, Tech 49”) to authenticate. The drone then compares this speech against some database, shown on their HUD as a zoomed-in image of Jack’s mouth and a vocal frequency.

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Occasionally, we see that Jack’s identification doesn’t immediately work. In those cases, he’s given a second chance by the drone to confirm his identity. Continue reading

Introducing Heath Rezabek

MLIS—Librarian and Futurist.

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Hi there. Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your name, where are you from, how do you spend your time?

I’m Heath Rezabek. I live in Austin, Texas, and have been an enthusiast of user interface design for many years. By career and calling I’m a librarian, and am a library services and technology grant manager by day. I have long been interested in how information is portrayed, symbolized, and accessed. I’m also writer of experimental speculative fiction, and have an interest in how the future is seen by creators and audiences. Interfaces play a key role in my fiction series, as well, from holographic to virtual world driven to all-out surrealist.

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What are some of your favorite sci-fi interfaces (Other than in Oblivion)? (And, of course, why.)

Continue reading

Communications with Sally

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While Vika and Jack are conducting their missions on the ground, Sally is their main point of contact in orbital TET command. Vika and Sally communicate through a video feed located in the top left corner of the TETVision screen. There is no camera visible in the film, but it is made obvious that Sally can see Vika and at one point Jack as well.

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The controls for the communications feed are located in the bottom left corner of the TETVision screen. There are only two controls, one for command and one for Jack. The interaction is pretty standard—tap to enable, tap again to disable. It can be assumed that conferencing is possible, although certain scenes in the film indicate that this has never taken place. Continue reading

Hydro-rig Monitoring

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As a part of their morning routine, Jack makes the rounds in his Bubbleship to provide a visual confirmation that the hydro-rigs are operating properly. In order to send the hydro-rig coordinates to the Bubbleship, Vika:

  1. Holds with two fingers on the hydro-rig symbol on the left-hand side panel of the TETVision feed
  2. A summary of coordinates is displayed around the touchpoint (hydro-rig symbol)
  3. Drags the data up to the Bubbleship symbol on the side panel

Inconsistent interactions

When Vika sends the drone coordinates, she interacts directly with the map and uses only one finger. Why is the interaction for sending hydro-rig coordinates different than the interaction for sending drone coordinates? Continue reading