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A User Interface is a piece of history - and the future

1 minute read

Territory/Ridley ScottPrometheus UI reel

If I told you that User Interfaces play a large part in modern film-making, you might think I'm exaggerating. But I don't think I am

Apart from buildings, cars and clothes, there's nothing that shouts "the future" more than a user interface that isn't Windows or a Mac. Come to think of it, there's not much that says "the past" more than a giant green flashing cursor on an obviously text-only screen that magically changes into a fully animated envelope (normally with wings) that flies away into the distance, accompanied by a cheesy 8-bit fanfare, and message that says, flashing, "EMAIL SENT!!!! EMAIL SENT!!!!"

Remember the touch screens on the bridge of the Enterprise? The no-touch screens in Minority Report? The curved, transparent screens in Avatar?


They're all scene-setters. They establish us in the future. And even if the vision turns out to be completely wrong, at the very least, these imaginary user interfaces will serve as a document to the way we saw the future from here, or from there, for that matter.

Here's more evidence of this movie leitmotif. It's the UI reel from Prometheus, by London-based design agency Territory, who worked with Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox to design and animate hundreds of computer graphics and projections for this epic SciFi film.


Tags: Technology