Tron, Tron 2 & Thoughts On Sci-Fi Technology

I watched the movie Tron with my neighbors this evening. It was actually my first ever viewing of the film.

I enjoyed the movie for what it was, and was deeply impressed with the visual effects (in their historical context)… but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Watching the movie made me reflect on where our technology is in comparison with the various visions of the future depicted in science fiction from the 1980’s and earlier.

Two things strike me as interesting about the computers we usually see depicted in science fiction from the 80’s and earlier.

  1. Computers remain gigantic in the future. It seems to me that it didn’t occur to many people that computers would begin to shrink in size while growing in capacity.
  2. No matter how powerful a computer gets, they user interface always looks like an Atari game.

In many ways, our technology has far exceeded the imaginations of earlier generations, yet in others, we lag behind… I’m still waiting on my lightsaber and flying car.

I think that the most striking (and possibly the only striking) part of the movie Minority Report was that it had computers that re-envisioned the user interface. Typically future UI’s just talk to the user, and/or the user talks to the interface. Minority Report showed us something different, and I sincerely believe that the movie’s vision of computer/ human interaction has influenced software and web design. I have been in the room with a number of different designers who have referenced that movie when talking about software functionality.

On another note (this is one disjointed post), the trailer for the new movie Tron Legacy looks pretty fun. I recommend watching it full screen in HD.

End of line.

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